What is the meaning of gratitude?
You may hear the word gratitude tossed around in yoga class, YouTube guided meditations, or in quotes on Instagram, but what does it truly mean, why is it important and how can we express it?
What is the Meaning of Gratitude and Why it’s Important
Gratitude is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as the state of being grateful”, or just “thankfulness”. Google defines it as the “quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.
Essentially, expressing gratitude means to practice thankfulness for what we have, tangible or intangible. Whether that is being thankful for something of monetary value, our family and friends, or simply the air in our lungs, actively appreciating areas in our life can lead to increased happiness and fulfillment.
Gratitude is an important addition to our daily lives because it gives us a chance to reflect and be thankful. Also, according to the Harvard Journal, having gratitude connects people to something larger than themselves.
What are the Benefits of Gratitude?
There are numerous benefits to practicing gratitude. Practicing gratitude challenges negative and toxic emotions and helps prevent “catastrophizing” (building up one negative thought after another), and allowing some peace to sink in.
Other benefits include:
- Better physical health
- Increased satisfaction with life
- Better sleep
- Increased patience
- Increased positivity
Outward gratitude, or expressing thankfulness toward other people, strengthens relationships and can even increase satisfaction in the workplace when practiced by leadership.
How to Express Gratitude: Try These Four Methods
1. Think about three moments of your life where you were immensely grateful:
- The first time you held your child or dog
- When you achieved a huge goal
- A special moment in your life like your graduation or wedding day
2. Actively appreciate things about your physical self:
- The power of your heartbeat
- The strength in your legs that carries you every day
- The air flowing through your lungs
3. Actively appreciate things about your inner self:
- Your kindness toward others
- Your empathy and compassion
- Your drive and motivation
4. Identify things in your environment that you are thankful for:
- The roof over your head
- The stable ground beneath you
- Access to clean water
Here are Some Guided Meditations to Try on YouTube:
- Tony Robbins – 10 Minute Morning Routine
2. Bob Baker’s 10-Minute Guided Morning Gratitude Mediation
3. The Mindful Movement – 5 Minute Guided Meditation for Gratitude
Practice Makes Perfect!
Gratitude is not just a feeling or an emotion, it is something that can transform your mindset and attitude when practiced every day.
Imagine how hard it would be to stay in an angry or negative state while thinking about all the good things in your life? Everybody has their days when they are down, but the more you practice being thankful, the more it will become second nature to you.
Challenge yourself to do a guided mediation practice or one of the exercises mentioned every day for a week and evaluate how your soul and over-all well-being feel at the end of it.
We promise you will notice a difference.