A successful life encompasses many factors, one of them is gratitude. Perhaps, there are various things which have a purpose to be grateful for such as; friends, family, health and other aspects of life.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is gratitude?
The magical word “Gratitude” seems just a word with some alphabets enjoined, yet it encapsulates a deep positive emotion and relief in it. Just look how immense it feels when people pay thanks to you even on such small things which usually you don’t count to be grateful for.
Expressing, thanks to people might enhance our overall sense of well-being. Look how positive such a single word or gesture could be. According to studies, grateful people are more open, less anxious, and agreeable.
How does gratitude affect our wellbeing?
The psychological perspective of gratitude
In psychological research, gratitude is certainly and strongly associated with greater pleasure. Gratitude helps people in building strong relationships, improves health, acknowledges delightful experiences in life and dealing with adversities.
According to a study held at the University of California in 2005, those who exhibited higher levels of gratitude were shown to have better quality sleep, more positive attitudes and fewer symptoms of potential diseases. Seemingly, when gratitude is taken into an action it not only benefits others but also in return affects your life to thrive.
In another study brought about between couples, those who practiced gratitude in their life were able to smoothly run their relationship together. Perhaps it includes conclusive discussion on apprehensions and having a deeper understanding of each other.
Moreover, research on gratitude shows that it is linked with positive emotions, contentment, happiness, and hopefulness (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). I believe, being appreciative of our blessings to the higher power leads us towards happiness. Since happiness is one of the key factors of wellbeing.
The religious perspectives of gratitude
Apart from religious beliefs, every being who pays thanks to his/her Lord might be blessed in some way. However, all religious beliefs mention us to be grateful, for being able to receive divine blessings. Let us consider looking at some verses from the Holy books; enriched in guidance from the supreme power.
In the Qur’an, the Book consists of Divine words; God deliberately speaks to people of faith with such words: “If you are grateful I will give you more” (14:07). However, ‘more’ in this verse might indicate a better living style, healthiness, or prosperity in life. Withal, whatever it is or could be, it has to be meaningful for the livelihood of humans.
In Bhagwad Geeta, a Sacred Book of Hindu people, says, “Surrender exclusively unto him with your whole being. By his grace, you will attain perfect peace and the eternal abode” (BG 18.62). The two terms have been used in the verse above; ‘perfect peace and eternal abode’. The perfect peace could be taken as the personal satisfaction to one’s life and his chores whereas eternal abode might be the lifetime continuation of peace and contentment.
A Christian view of gratitude is provoked in the Bible as, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
As the former words point, ‘God will guard your heart and mind’ might mean that by showing gratitude to God you will be saved from evil or any negativity. Because in reality what needs to be controlled is the human heart and mind and if so, one will surely have a quality life. If you truly wish to stand as a successful person, start your way out to it by being grateful.