GRATITUDE FOR GOOD
A Blog by Gratitude Alliance
By Rachel Crowther (Reposted from The Gracias Foundation, now called Global Gratitude Alliance)
The first result which came up when I googled the definition of the word “gratitude” was that it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness” which sums up how we feel! We are called The Gracias Foundation because we believe in the positive benefits of gratitude, and giving from a place of thankfulness, for our good fortune, and the moments of happiness and laughter in our own lives.
Yes, it’s often difficult to feel gratitude when the rain is pouring down yet again, your car won’t start or your kids wake up five times during the night. But it might be possible to appreciate how green and beautiful your grass looks, or that you have paid for a recovery service to get you back on the road! Start small. As you rush through your daily life, take a few seconds to savour and appreciate when you are doing something nice! I’m enjoying a strong coffee right now and thinking about good friends I often enjoyed coffee with in Bern (they now live in the US). Good times!
Plus, gratitude, according to a Harvard Medical School article, "is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships." *
You can return kindness in your family, to your friends and community with small acts, a smile, saying thank you or making or repairing connections with people, for example. You might send a supportive SMS or pay for someone’s coffee (is there a reoccurring theme here?) Connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter could be another of the many ways which might inspire gratitude and giving in your own life.
Dr. Gregg Jacobs writes: "Helping others doesn't just feel good, and it doesn’t just give life greater meaning. Studies show that altruism can reduce the effects of stress."** So, living and giving with gratitude could also make you happier and healthier! Something else to be grateful for!
Learn more about our philosophy of giving with gratitude!
* In Praise of Gratitude. (2011, November). Harvard Mental Health Letter.
** Jacobs, Gregg D, It's Healthier to Give Than to Receive