What is Gratitude
Gratitude, in its essence, is acknowledging what you have by using it in the best way. As such, we must first know that we were given, and then reciprocate that fact by giving. A grateful mindset acknowledges all good in their life and recognizes The Source of that goodness as a reality external to oneself. This gives you a holistic transcending view of yourself and the world. It is the impetus of wellness, propelling the pursuit of activities and relationships of fulfillment and satisfaction. Going beyond just appreciating the good, it is the intentional effort to seek it and use it. This practice ultimately produces the realization of abundance, knowing that your blessings are countless and your capacity is limitless.
Knowledge of gratitude's transformative quality is somewhat primordial. In ancient Egypt, the fundamental order and balance of the universe was defined as Ma'at. Living by Ma'at was considered essential for a prosperous and stable society. Gratitude was the vital aspect of maintaining Ma'at while ingratitude leads to deeds of negativity and instability.
Across various religions and spiritual traditions, gratitude is recognized as a virtue that connects observants to the transcend. In Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and other faiths, expressions of gratitude are embedded in rituals, prayers, and teachings, evident in their central text. The Qur'an details unavoidable bipolar ways man must journey in life, one of either gratefulness or ingratitude.⁵ In the Psalm, readers are invited to approach God with gratitude.² The common thread is the acknowledgment of blessings and the importance of expressing thanks to The Divine.
Gratitude and Science
Keep a Gratitude Journal - Dedicate a few minutes each day to jot down things you are grateful for and how you can use them impactfully. Reflect on both significant and small moments of joy and ways to share it with others.
Express Appreciation to Others - Let friends, family, and colleagues know that you appreciate them and why. Use the formula of saying thank you for something, explaining why it was impactful to you, and then concluding with another thank is a simple heartfelt way to express appreciation to others.
Practice Mindfulness - Pay attention to the present moment, savoring the positive experiences in your day.
Reciprocate The Blessing - Engage in acts of kindness, support, and generosity. Helping others deepens your sense of gratitude and connection.
- Psalm 100:4, 107:1 (NIV)
- Quran 76:3
- (PDF) The Impact of an Integrated Gratitude Intervention on Positive Affect and Coping Resources (researchgate.net)