There a few things we only recognize the value of, once we lose them. The value of our health for instance, is immeasurable, yet we tend to take it for granted until we no longer have perfect health. Ever since I was a child I’ve had small tics – absence epilepsy – nothing major, and nothing that needs to be medicated. This morning however, I had a massive seizure and had to be put in the hospital for observation. Thankfully, everything is okay, but the point is that there are certain things it makes sense to be grateful for – a kind and loving family, good friendships and especially our health.
My point here is not to beat you over the head with something you already know, but instead to highlight how valuable certain things are, and it’s worth taking time out every day to recognize that and to express our gratitude. One way to do that is to write a list of items we are grateful for every day in a journal, or on our phones.
Showing our gratitude daily in this way has massive positive impacts on our happiness, mental health and well-being. Specifically, Seligman et. al. (2005) found that showing daily gratitude can increase our feelings of positive emotions by up to 10%. Moreover, Lin (2017) found that high levels of gratitude has a strong positive impact on psychological well-being, self-esteem and mitigating feelings of depression.
The point here is that showing gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions, and the more we can do to express our gratitude the better off we will be. My own experience is that my own happiness has increased way more than 10% from expressing my gratitude on a daily basis – although it’s hard to quantify – and I would argue that this daily practice is the one single factor which contributes to my happiness and well-being.
I dare you to give gratitude a go, and experience the results on your own mind.