It's natural to feel overwhelmed or exhausted by life during challenging times. Negative emotions and ideas might infiltrate, making it harder to focus on the benefits. However, a straightforward exercise known as gratitude can help reduce these sensations. We will examine the value of gratitude.
Despite its simplicity, gratitude has the potential to make us happier, healthier, and more at ease with ourselves. We discuss gratitude, the advantages it may provide, and some practical ways to practice appreciation.
Forgiveness, gratitude, and humility are three critical traits that have been the subject of ongoing positive psychology study. What have we discovered about each of them, and why are they critical to human flourishing?
Why is gratitude so critical?
While we'll discuss the specific advantages of appreciation later, it's important noting the general significance of gratitude. While it may appear to some as a somewhat esoteric concept, a body of scientific research demonstrates its efficacy.
Several studies have demonstrated that gratitude has numerous physical, psychological, emotional, and social advantages. It teaches us to value all the wonderful aspects of our lives and the people that inhabit them.
While gratitude is not a panacea or a cure-all for everything, it may help keep us grounded and optimistic, especially during times of uncertainty.
Many of us are familiar with discontent - we feel our lives are unfinished and deficient in the things we desire. At such moments, it's all too simple to compare yourself to others' beautiful lifestyles and to criticize yourself as inadequate. Gratitude is a simple exercise that might help ease unpleasant sentiments.
Is gratitude a universal virtue?
Before delving into some of the studies and statistics surrounding gratitude, it's critical to consider if practicing appreciation is appropriate for everyone. Although there is research demonstrating the advantages of this approach, it is not appropriate for everyone.
According to studies, every one of us has a certain degree of 'trait gratitude,' which dictates how grateful we may feel. This level is influenced by heredity, culture, and personality factors. It is unknown if individuals can 'teach' themselves to feel more gratitude.
Similarly, the never-ending search for happiness may be tiring, and life might surprise you with sad times. Although practicing gratitude has several advantages, it may not be appropriate for everyone. If you do not experience any effects, do not be disappointed, and speak with your doctor or another medical expert about any mental health concerns.
Why is humility beneficial?
When I contact someone who exudes humility, my shoulders relax, my heart beats a bit more gently, and something inside me releases.
Why? Because I am truly seen, heard, and accepted for who I am, flaws and all—a priceless and uncommon gift that enables our protective walls to come down.
True humility enables truly humble individuals to offer us this sort of gift because they acknowledge and accept their talents and shortcomings without being defensive or judgmental – a basic feature of humility, according to academics, and one that fosters great compassion for humanity.
Here are some rare thoughts to get you started.
1. Accept your humanity
When we fail at something significant to us—a career or a relationship, for example—our self-esteem plummets since we have attached our self-worth to those things. We suddenly become awful or worthless individuals, and the path to rehabilitation might be lengthy.
Not so for those who are humble. Their capacity to bear failure or criticism stems from their innate value as humans rather than from external methods. Therefore, when individuals fail at a task or fall short of expectations, it does not indicate something fundamentally wrong with them. It implies that they, like the rest of us, are human.
According to scientists, this intrinsic worth is derived through stable attachment, or the good emotional link created with close individuals, often our primary caregivers in childhood. Experiencing unconditional acceptance and affection, mainly as children, can act as a buffer against the negative impacts of criticism or failure.
Awkwardly, several of us did not cultivate up with stable attachments. According to one research, 40% of people are not firmly linked, yet this does not imply we are doomed. Adult interactions, such as friendships, love partners, or even with a higher power, can help us heal. This new GGSC article makes several suggestions.
2. Incorporate mindfulness and self-compassion into your daily life
Mindfulness and self-compassion have been associated with increased psychological resilience and emotional well-being in recent years. And I'm not sure how I'd achieve humility without them.
According to experts, modest individuals have a realistic view of themselves—both their flaws and their gifts—which enables them to understand what may need to be changed.
Mindfulness increases our self-awareness by allowing us to pause and observe our thoughts and feelings without passing judgment (if we pass judgment on what is going on inside us, we create a skewed image of ourselves).
The more aware we develop of our inner life, the simpler it is to identify unhealthy attitudes and behaviors restricting us. Self-compassion, or treating oneself with care and understanding, requires recognizing and then embracing those aspects of ourselves that create havoc and need transformation.
Once we acknowledge what has to be changed, we may begin the transformation process. I adore the proverb of a wise elder, "Do not beat the darkness with a stick if you are in a gloomy room." Rather than that, switch on the light." In other words, if we simply gradually and painstakingly replace a wrong thought or behavior with a positive one, we may eventually lose sight of the person we were.
3. Show gratitude
By saying "thank you," we recognize the blessings that come into our lives and, in turn, the worth of other people. Thankfulness might help us become less self-centered and more concerned about those around us—a characteristic of humble people.
Indeed, a recent study discovered that thankfulness and humility reinforce one another.
Expressing thanks may instill humility in us, and humble individuals are better at expressing gratitude. This research utilized both appreciation letters and gratitude diaries, which are simple to implement and are explained in further detail on the GGSC's Greater Good in Action website.
Perhaps the secret to humility is to view life as a journey toward nurturing the characteristics that spotlight the top in ourselves and others and contribute to the betterment of our planet. And this is not a journey for the typical individual; it is a journey that many of our greatest leaders have taken.
To conclude, let me quote Nelson Mandela, a man who understood humility: "As I previously stated, the first phase is to be authentic with oneself." You will never affect society until you first alter. All great peacemakers are men and women of integrity, honesty, and humility.
Despite its simplicity, gratitude has the potential to make us happier, healthier, and more at ease with ourselves. Gratitude is a simple exercise that might help ease unpleasant sentiments. It teaches us to value all the beautiful aspects of our lives and the people that inhabit them. When we fail at something significant to us, our self-esteem plummets because we attach self-worth to those things.