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The Impact and Rewards of Gratitude

Gratitude is simply an expression of appreciation. It could be in the form of expressing thanks for acts of kindness, for gifts, or for anything you have received in any form, or for what someone has done for you. Being grateful for things you do not have or haven’t received yet, is also a good quality to have and will be of great benefits to you in the long run. Here are some ways that gratitude can be rewarding to you. 

1. Long-lasting Relationships

Making friends is easy when you are someone predisposed to expressing gratitude for the simple things of life. Some people have a great affinity for this, while for others they have to work at it. However, one of the keys to having long-lasting friendships, and ultimately great relationships with people, is by being someone who is known for their grateful heart. Gratefulness is an act of appreciation that never fails to draw people closer to someone. Not only will you be loved, but you will be loved to have around for an exceedingly long time.

2. Arise With Gratitude

When you make it a habit to take some time out of your daily routine and express gratitude for waking up, you’ll be better positioned to go about your day with a positive attitude. Expressing gratitude helps with focusing on the things that are more important than the things that are not available. Life in itself is a gift, hence, when we are grateful for this gift and express it audibly as we get out of bed daily, we’ll be better placed to express gratitude for other things big or small.

3. Be Thankful Always

The science and psychology behind gratitude infers that gratitude is beneficial when we realign our attention to noticing things that we normally wouldn’t, and be thankful for each of them. It is a way of expressing how much we appreciate the simple regular things people do for us every single day. Simple things like being grateful for receiving help from a loved one, family, friends, co-workers, neighbours, and community members is a perfect example. Expressing gratitude for things that we would normally consider as the natural expectation will position us to receive greater things. When you walk into your home to freshly cooked meals, when your littles ones scream out a random ‘I love you,’ or a neighbour offers a polite ‘can I walk your dog?’ or a simple ‘how are you,’ when we view these with different lens with the cognizance that there are people who are having the opposite experience, will impact and change our lives positively. 

4. Healthy Sleep Pattern

A study by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research conducted in 2009 states that, thinking grateful thoughts about the things we have, and about life in general will help our sleep pattern and improve its quality. In fact, being thankful as a way of expressing gratitude will help us have longer and deeper sleep, and make us feel well rested by the time we are awake. 

5. Make a Gratitude List

When things aren’t going as well as planned, your relationships are failing, your boss is giving you a hard time and not appreciating your work. When you feel offended by everyone and everything, and are annoyed by every little thing; it might be time to make that gratitude list and appreciate the things that are going well. This would include, of course, how well things have been in the past, and be grateful for the things you do have, rather than focusing on what’s missing from your life. Additionally, learning to take deep breaths, and being less critical of others, as a practical reaction to offence and annoyance is a better attitude to adopt. Your life will inevitably change for the better when you realize what is worth reacting to and what isn’t. 

Chinenye Emezie | Assistant Editor

Summer 2024

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