The Importance of Gratitude

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

The gift of gratitude can be shared a thousand times over and mean something different to each recipient. But what is gratitude? Being thankful, showing appreciation, gratefulness for actions or words, feeling indebted about something. These and many more are forms of gratitude and a foundation to understanding how powerful it can be. How is there power in being thankful you ask? When we take the time to understand and appreciate someone or something we are not only seeing the value but also acknowledging it and sharing that feeling. Sharing that appreciation not only ignites our inner light just a little bit brighter, it can also ignite the light in others.

 So besides saying “thank you” and making someone smile, why should we focus on gratitude? There are many reasons why being thankful is beneficial to your health: both mental and physical. Think about a time that you were bursting with joy about a gift, a compliment, or a feeling. It was treasured, maybe only in that moment, or perhaps for longer, but everything seemed to be brighter afterwards. This moment of sheer bliss is beautiful and comes from within. Valuing something like that makes you focus on the positive rather than the negative and this can set you up to seek out the good instead of bad. Studies show many health benefits that come from being thankful. Reduced anxiety and depression can be a result of practicing gratitude. Another benefit of practicing gratitude is to see value within us. You can shed toxic thoughts and fears by committing to gratitude. Setting an intention of gratitude shows you are consciously making the choice and actively applying it to your life.

 How can you set an intention of gratitude for your life? Look around you and notice the people you appreciate, the things you value highly, and demonstrate. Make a commitment to see the positive in your daily encounters and to note them. Reflect on why it is you appreciate them, acknowledge how they impact you. A simple way to apply gratitude in your every day is to do it in the morning. As you wake up to begin your day, take a moment to set your intention to be grateful. You can say out loud what it is or write it down, tell someone or keep it to yourself. Throughout your day think back to this intention. Notice the change within yourself and how that amazing light shines through you.

With light filled regards,

Leyla