Life is not what it used to be. In the modern world of Instagram and Facebook, we’re taught from a young age to ‘perform’, to ‘sell ourselves’, to measure our self-worth in likes and follows. We look back to the old-fashioned virtue of thankfulness in this context, and give you five long-lasting benefits of being grateful.
Two words, and yet they pack such a punch. ‘Thank you’ is perhaps the most underappreciated sentence in the English language, while simultaneously being perhaps the most powerful. One can be thankful on many levels, and one can be thankful to a person or to life in general. A daily habit of being grateful – and of expressing this gratitude by saying the magic words – can bring surprising benefits to your life. Here are a few:
1. It will make you likeable
Think about it. If you thank your friends and colleagues often as a habit, either in person or by writing notes, you put yourself out there, and they get to know that you appreciate them in your life. Many of us feel shy about expressing this gratitude; we think it makes us vulnerable. But that’s the whole point. Letting your friends know of your vulnerability makes you more human in their eyes, and they will respond by giving you their gratitude in return. Win-win.
2. You will smell the roses more
We know that our paths are littered with roses and weeds. Often, it seems like there are more weeds than roses, and because we’re biologically wired to focus on the negative, we forget to smell the roses. And the path of life is one through which we pass but once. By reminding ourselves to be grateful on a daily basis, we circumvent the instinctive focus on the negative and force ourselves to smell the roses more often.
3. You will become humbler
We live in a narcissistic world, with social media encouraging us to ‘sell ourselves’ every minute of the day. In such an environment, when you’re truly grateful for something or someone, you will understand that the world is much bigger than you are, that often, you have no control over things. You learn the great trait of accepting things as they come, and in turn this will make you humbler and calmer as a person. The more you practice gratitude, the less narcissistic and the more empathetic you will become.
4. It will have a meditative effect
Taking some time off every day to write down a few small lines about what you’re grateful for will have a meditative effect on you. Let’s face it; in the modern world, we’re constantly bombarded with voices and thoughts. There is no silence in our minds anymore. How nice it would be to sit down at the end of the day with your notebook, and listen to nothing else but your own private thoughts? It will have a calming, meditative effect on you, and you will most likely become less angry as a person.
5. It will strengthen the bonds of love
Someone said that the most important sentence to say when you’re in love is not ‘I love you’ but ‘I am sorry’. Add ‘Thank you’ to that list. Thank everyone and everything, but thank the people that are closest to you the most, because without them, your life would be emptier. Let them know that, and celebrate their presence for as long as it lasts.