Each year in our lives, as part of our human nature, we make plans, carry out actions, and have expectations. Sometimes, the output of our actions does not meet our expectations, and we experience negative feelings such as sadness, anxiety, or depression. It could get overwhelming and leave us with a drowning feeling of unfulfillment, which can affect our perspective of life, our health, and our lifestyle. Research has shown being thankful or grateful can help with dealing with such feelings, making us feel much better. Thankfulness, derived from the Latin word ‘gratus’ meaning pleasing, or thankful is a feeling of appreciation or gratitude in response to acts of generosity (whether concrete or abstract) by a giver. We receive the feeling of thankfulness when we take note of the good things in our lives. We realize from being thankful is the act of generosity received to an extent comes from an external source. This realization encourages people to put in effort in trying to connect something bigger. It could be anything from nature to people or even a higher power such as a religious identity. There are many benefits of being thankful, which include the following benefits:
Emotional benefits of being thankful:
• Taking note of what we have can give us a positive outlook on life. When we focus on the good things in our lives, we pay less attention to the bad things and boost positivity.
• Research shows being thankful protects the mind from harboring or dwelling on suicidal or depressed thoughts. It reduces the frequency of suicidal thoughts in depressed people. Thankfulness is a strong tool to help us stay strong in our weakest moments.
Social benefits of being thankful:
• The act of being thankful makes people find us trustworthy and open and as a result, it exposes us to more friends, a larger social network, and improves relationships.
• Showing we are grateful to our friends, strengthens the bond we share. Friends who are grateful to each other can go through hurdles together and share their concerns with ease and comfort. Thankfulness encourages positivity among friends. Showing gratitude also strengthens romantic relationships. When we show gratitude to those we love, they are touched by it and in turn reciprocate our action, wanting us to be happy too. Personal benefits of being thankful:
• Thankfulness gives us an optimistic view of life. It makes us think positively of ourselves and our situations. When we think about what we are grateful for, we find even more reasons to be grateful! • Thankfulness makes us less selfish! The act of being thankful encourages us to be kind to others, whether friends or strangers and in the process and spread the act of gratitude amongst others. Career benefits from being thankful:
• People who practice thankfulness have better managerial skills, improved work-related mental health, and are less stressed. These are a few out of the many benefits thankfulness has to offer. We hope you practice thankfulness consistently and teach others to do so too!