“Gratitude remains when the reason for its borning
drifts away in the fading twilight of conscious memory.
It sustains hope, deepens compassion
and broadens understanding.” —Diana Roche
Yesterday I had the opportunity to facilitate a session where participants considered in the privacy of their personal reflections some of their most powerful feelings of gratitude. A group dialogue followed as those attending elected to share their experiences. We talked about our ideals, people in our lives, and unique situations that have been of special meaning.
Each person received a thank-you message on a slip which was one of those thank-yous that someone wanted to say but for unsuspected reasons was never verbalized. Some examples of these messages included, “thank you for helping me find a creative solution”, “thank you for respecting my decisions”, and “thank you for listening”.
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is our inner response.
Extensive research speaks of the value of an attitude of gratitude. Based on aggregating the results of more than 40 research studies on the topic (www.happierhuman.com/the-science-of-gratitude/), benefits include:
- becoming more optimistic
- an increased self-esteem
- better and improved sleep
- contributes to physical and mental vigor
- relates with becoming more resilient
- encourages happier memories
- facilitates the establishment of deeper relationships
It is possible to nurture our tendency to experience gratitude and there are many resources in our hands. Some of them include: a) writing a Gratitude Journal, b) practicing meditation in either formal or informal ways, c) using daily affirmations to strengthen that in which we focus, and d) cultivating the habit of expressing gratitude to others.
I love to think about gratitude as the melody of the heart.
By Mayte Picco-Kline