How often do you say thank you?
Really think about this.
I’m not just talking about saying thank you for the privilege of paying for a product at a shop when the assistant hands back your card, or the customary response when someone hands you something. I’m talking about the real, heart felt thank you for those people who help in our journey through life. These are the thank you’s when the recipient hasn’t necessarily performed a specific action to warrant the response. These are the thank you’s that mean “thank you for being in my life” or “thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom”.
These are the thank you’s that the recipient does not expect.
These are also the thank you’s that are not derived from common courtesy, rather a genuine feeling of gratitude that invigorates our soul.
There have been many studies on the positive effects of gratitude, to the point that keeping a gratitude journal is an activity often prescribed to sufferers of depression. In fact it is something we all should do. Prof Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, tells us that the regular practice of being grateful can increase our happiness levels by 25%. On top of this, our quality and length of sleep can be enhanced. I’m sure we could all do with some of that!
To some of you, the art of practicing gratitude may seem somewhat trite, however the science doesn’t lie and the benefits of a keeping a simple gratitude journal have been investigated and researched many times over. Keep a gratitude journal, where you write something you feel grateful for four times a week for three weeks and the effects can last over 6 months!
What to write? It could be something as simple as “I am grateful for the air I breathe and that I am alive” to thanking a specific person for their input into your life. Write in your gratitiude journal – or just in your diary – pick up a card and send it to someone or call someone on the phone and just say “thanks for being in my life”. However you express it, just say thanks.
Your soul will be grateful.