Gratitude is awesome! — Wait, but why?

Since we’re approaching Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S, I thought it was a great time to talk about gratitude and all the wonderful things that comes with it.

- You know, things like food and more food and family and food, you get it right? -

I remember from when I was little, the constant reminder of my parents to be grateful and saying “Thanks”. I still remember those times my mom would pinch me and asked — “what do you say? — Thank you”- she replied herself. But at that age these kind words “Thank You”, did not resemble the meaning of gratitude.

So what’s gratitude and what does it mean? Gratitude comes from the Latin word “gratus” meaning the willingness to show kindness as a token of appreciation. With this in mind, being grateful means that FIRST you have to recognize the blessings and acknowledge them, in order to appreciate them.

When I was little, I wasn’t sure why I was saying “Thank You” for. I didn’t recognize the good in the acts of people, therefore I had nothing to be appreciative of.

So, what’s all the buzz about gratitude? Research done by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., reveals that cultivating gratitude on a daily basis has enormous benefits in life. There is a direct link between gratitude and well-being.
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Studies showed 6 key benefits from cultivating gratitude:

  1. Gratitude betters psychological health by helping you reduce toxic emotions
  2. Gratitude it’s proven to improve your physical health: In studies people that were most grateful took better care of their health and experience less physical pain
  3. Sleep tight and well: 15 minutes of gratitude a day proved to help people sleep deeper and longer
  4. Self-esteem, the one thing we all want to preserve: Studies show that cultivating gratitude reduces social comparison and increases your ability to recognize someone’s accomplishments without taking a toll on your self-esteem
  5. Makes you mentally tougher: Studies reveal that gratitude can alleviate stress and help to overcome any traumas
  6. Strengthen relationships: As social beings, gratitude can prove to be helpful in winning a few friends and strengthen our existing relationships, since It’s not only about saying “Thanks”, but about reciprocating with kindness

As part of my daily practice I try to be grateful for everything I have, for everyone in my life, and for all the wonderful things I am continuously blessed with. Today, I want to take this chance to say thanks for this wonderful year with Welzen. Exactly a year ago, I embarked on this journey to share my experience and help people through the practice of Mindfulness. Thank you for all the support, for sharing your stories, for saying thanks and letting us know how much you enjoy Welzen. It is because of YOU that I have the most wonderful job there is.

With this in mind, I challenge you to join me in trying, not only to be grateful during this Thanksgiving, but to be grateful year round. Only by cultivating gratitude we’ll be healthier, mentally stronger and happier!

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By the way, here’s a lot of research done by Robert A. Emmons, PH.D., a professor of psychology at the Berkeley University of California, on all the wonderful things gratitude can do for you.