Sometimes our happiness is contributed to by the little things. Happiness is not just an emotion. It is all about how good you feel about something or how content you are with the life you are living. On the other hand, gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or feeling thankful for what you have. It is the overall feeling of satisfaction without expecting anything more than you already have. Gratitude is an aspect of life that everyone should really put to practice. Gratitude helps you to refocus on what is in the present other than what you wish you had.
Gratitude makes us happier. Dr Amy E. Keller, Psyd a family and marriage therapist mentions that when you feel satisfied with your life, it brings about a feeling of joy and comfort. It is important to note that everyone expresses gratitude differently. Some people retrieve their past experiences and choose to be thankful for those experiences. Other people choose to be grateful in the present for every tiny situation they find themselves in. Other people express their gratitude for the future by being hopeful and thankful for what is not yet to come or happen.
How Does Gratitude Make Us Happier?
Gratitude Reduces Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Being anxious or depressed can make one forget to express their gratitude. You might be clouded with these negative feelings forgetting about what is going on in your surrounding. When one is thankful and content with what they have, they will not be anxious or feel painful emotions since they can put their focus on what they have instead of what they lack. On the other hand, you can overcome stress by being grateful too. If you are happy with the life you are living and are grateful for every aspect of it; then you do not ever have to worry about stress. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a positive researcher on matters relating to happiness, mentions that happiness includes a deep sense of meaning and worth in ones life.
Gratitude Reduces the Feelings of Aggression
When one is grateful, the body or rather the mind produces neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, responsible for the emotions that make us feel “good.” When one is happy, they are most likely to be less aggressive and handle situations without hostility.
It Helps Us Connect With Other Things in Our Surrounding
Gratitude aids us in connecting better with things around our surroundings. For example, people, nature, or even higher power. When we are grateful, we have peace. We can take time and meditate and appreciate things better than when we are not content and busy complaining about what we do not already have.
Empathy is the ability to understand and feel other people’s feelings. Gratitude enhances our empathy in that we can comprehend what other people are feeling and understand them in a better way. Empathy is a good feeling since it is an appositive feeling that helps us relate well to our surroundings.
Builds Our Self-esteem
When we are grateful, we have a good overall opinion of ourselves. How we look, talk, and relate with others in a respectful and comfortable environment. When we feel good about ourselves, we are happy, but it all begins with appreciating every aspect of our lives, no matter how small it may appear.
Gratitude Helps Us Build Better Relationships (Romantic Or Platonic)
When you appreciate the people around you, you can build better relationships with them. You get to understand them specially and appreciate their existence in the world. You love other people better when you are grateful to have them in your life. For example, take time to appreciate your romantic partner and be content with the little things. You can drastically improve your romantic relationship and make it a safe space for both of you. It applies to platonic relationships too. When you appreciate your friends and take time to tell them how much you love them, it builds or rather creates a stronger bond in your friendships! this (better relationships) makes one happy and more comfortable around others
Improves Physical Health
Your mental health is better and improved when you express gratitude; your physical health is improved. When one is grateful for what is going on in their lives, including the state of their physical health, they are calm and take things easy. Gratitude can help one in their recovery, in return improving their physical health.
Being Grateful Helps Us Sleep Well
Picture a small kid who understands nothing but still sleeps, smiling because they do not have to worry about anything. It is the same case with someone who expresses their gratitude. If you take time to say thank you for the cup of coffee you just had or for the friends you have, or even for the job interview you are preparing for, then you will sleep better at night knowing that you are content and happy to be at the place you are right now.
Yes! Gratitude makes us happier. When you are grateful for everything, even what is beyond your control, you are at peace. With peace comes joy, and with joy comes the mutual feeling of happiness.