Let Go of Expectation and Embrace Appreciation
We were raised to be good girls and mind our manners. From an early age, we were taught to be polite and say “yes please” and “thank you.” Fast forward several decades and saying thank you just rolls off our tongues. There are thank you’s everywhere we look. Not only are we great at saying thank you, but an entire industry has been created to offer extra support for our thanks from cards to gift baskets and everything in between.
To thank someone is an expression, a gesture in response to something that has already happened. When we the receiver are thankful to the giver. However, with gratitude, this is an experience more powerful than we recognize. Because being grateful is not necessarily in response to something you have already received, but instead a state of being grateful for what simply IS. Gratitude is robust in faith; it is to thank in advance of receiving. The peace and power that come with a feeling of gratitude breed benefits that go beyond just a warm fuzzy feeling.
In fact, research by The Positive Psychology Progam highlights these benefits. Findings suggest that people with an “attitude of gratitude” experience lower levels of stress. Studies show that grateful people are more agreeable, more open, and less neurotic. Furthermore, it is related negatively to depression and positively to life satisfaction.
But perhaps the most exciting thing about living in gratitude is that it can be contagious. And let’s face it, our world could stand more of that feeling!