When you have a set of people who truly care about you, you end up having days that you are able to sit back and say thank you to those who have contributed to your growth. I am fortunate enough to have some of those amazing people around me.
With that being said I would like to first and foremost thank my daughter Samira Ellison for an amazing mother’s day poem, Lavern Brown for opening my mind to possibilities, and Donna Paulino for her beautiful heart.
Gratitude is one of the most overlooked emotions that we have. Most of us live our day to day lives wanting more than what we have. That’s pretty much all a person’s sees. We do anything to get that better handbag, car, or pay raise. Only to want something better once we do have it. Do we really ever take the time to look around and realize our growth? By understanding what gratitude is, why it is important, and how to generate it, we can live more satisfying lives.
What is gratitude?
If you look up the definition of gratitude on google.com, you will find gratitude means the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. This could be aimed at anything or anyone. When I do feel gratitude, I feel an overwhelming feeling of abundance and humility. Despite all my flaws, I have three children and a husband that love me. We have a good relationship in which we are able to share ideas, thoughts, and feelings without fear of judgement from one another. I almost feel undeserving of such a high valued gift.
That’s not to say that this is the only way or thing that you can feel gratitude towards. At any given time, you can choose to feel gratitude toward any one, or anything. You can choose to be thankful that you have a job that is allowing you to support yourself. Or towards a coworker who has shown certain kindness. The possibilities and benefits to feelings of gratitude are endless.
Why is gratitude important?
There is a number of reasons why gratitude is important. Feelings of gratitude open your mind to positive imagery and mental attitude. Your personal outlook improves and so will your interactions with others. You will become more humanistic in conversations, and more receptive to the other’s person’s point of view. When you are grateful, you place yourself in frequency to receive acts of kindness. For example, this week I received a small gift from a co-worker that I was thankful for. My daughter then gave me a late mother’s day poem which now sits on my desk that really opened my heart. I then received a book from another co-worker that put some things into perspective for me. Do you see where I’m going here?
How do we generate gratitude?
We can generate gratitude a number of ways. The first and most obvious way is to say thank you for anything received. It’s not enough to say thank you, you really have to feel it in your heart. Even the smallest things received can multiply when gratitude is put into play. That extra dollar that you didn’t have to spend today, turns into twenty dollars that you found in an unused wallet.
Another way to show and express gratitude is by seeing the good in people and their perspectives. Whether their perspective is positive or not, it is their perspective and we may be able to learn something about ourselves and the world around us because they chose to share it.
Lastly, you can allow yourself to feel gratitude when you think back on the hardest obstacle you had to overcome. The fact that you overcame it in itself is a great achievement, and something that should not be overlooked. You have become resilient and a better person because of it.
Although we are constantly being bombarded with negative images and people, we should sacrifice a few minutes of everyday toward feelings of gratitude. You will lead a happier life and will end up receiving a positive point of view because of it. Life is too short to continue to dwell on negativity, and circumstances that you cannot change. So, start living it.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.