We’ve all been there. We’ve all been told not to take things for granted and to always appreciate what you have. But we really don’t know the true meaning of these words until we have a big life experience that teaches us this lesson, or unless there is a valid argument explaining this. So obviously since I can’t give you an adventure, let’s try and explain the science behind gratitude. Just so we can understand it a little better.
What exactly does it mean to have gratitude though? Well to show gratitude, we must reflect upon what we’ve been doing and what we may be thankful for. We think to ourselves “Am I happy?” “Why am I happy, or what can I do to make myself happy.” Gratitude does many wonders for us. People who show gratitude usually experience:
- More Positive Emotions and Feelings
- Stronger Immune System
- Better Understanding of Compassion
- Feel More Alive
- Sleep Better
Okay, that’s great and all, but did you know showing gratitude to others is the most significant factor in our lives responsible for our happiness? It’s true, and you can watch this video about it scientifically in case you don’t believe me.
In a nutshell, this video took a bunch of participants and had them write about the most influential person they know. Then they had them call that person they wrote about and read aloud the thing they wrote. Those picked up the phone when they called and actually expressed the gratitude had an increase in happiness from 4 and 19 percent. The person who had the biggest spike in happiness, was the least happiest person. So if you are going through any difficult experiences, try this out it actually works!
Okay, so as for taking things for granted, we all know what it feels like. You never know what you have until it’s gone. This is true for relationships, friendships, and pretty much everyday life. Many of us have gone through (or are going through) big events that make us re-examine our lives.
We get used to people, materials, and phrases where it become part of everyday life. For example, the phrase “Never Give Up” has become so cliché, that every time we hear that phrase, it just kind of goes in one ear and out the other. We take it for granted, because people tell us that everyday, and they really don’t say it in any other way. They don’t get real and say “Hey, I know your feeling hopeless, and I am too, but we can’t go back now. Everything we’ve done would have been in vain”. Instead we just the old “Never Give Up”. We also like to complain. Especially if we still live with our parents, when we’re used to doing the hard stuff for us. Only later when we “grow up” do we realize the hardships they faced, and how to appreciate things. We tend to be blinded by our lack of understanding, and lack of appreciation.
Well life is just too short to complain about things all the time I say. We’d be much happier if we took a little time to appreciate things, and have numerous health. If things were awesome all the time, we would get used to it and there would be nothing special. So you can even appreciate the little things in life.