Gratitude is just an elusive emotion.
The fact is that without a certain amount of gratitude, however, we will find it difficult to get ourselves at peace and will rarely be at rest. Out of all, people with gratitude are usually left short-tempered, frustrated, impatient, and fearful in a state of perpetual discontent. But without gratitude we are also blinded to the blessings of family, the gift of friendship, the wonders of nature, and the many delightful and beautiful things that surrounds us.
That is why it seems not surprising that many studies have found that gratitude is among the healthiest of emotions and that there are mental and physical benefits of having a grateful attitude in life.
For instance, Research from Northeastern University, got to find out that people with a heightened daily gratitude were more patient and better able to make reasonable decisions.
Also, experiments conducted at the University of Zurich have also shown that gratitude is also a very powerful antidote against depression and that people who partake in the “three good things” exercise as the name suggests, encourages people to acquire the daily habit of writing down the three good moments or things that happened during the day so as to see considerable improvements in their overall happiness.
And this is not just a passing state of happiness; other studies have also shown a correlation between consistently taking time to express gratitude and long-lasting happiness.
Gratitude can go a long way in helping to improve everyday and less “philosophical” things, like our romantic relationships and our self-care.
According to the Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, everyday gratitude boosts numerous aspects of romantic relationships, which includes feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction as a couple.
Also, a study published in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences found positive correlations between gratitude and self-care, between levels of gratitude and how likely people are to do wellbeing-improving behaviors like exercise, healthy eating and going to the doctor.
Though, this isn’t the first time humankind has discovered the importance of gratitude.
Instead of seeing these studies as advances into unexplored territories, we might better see them as the corroboration of ideas that many Western thinkers have been developing for centuries.
A 16th-century Spanish theologian and founder of the Society of Jesus named Ignatius of Loyola, wrote, “Ingratitude, or the failure to recognize the good things, the graces and the gifts received, is one of the things which is worthy of detestation before our Creator and Lord.”
Also, during the last century, a Spanish philosopher José Ortegay Gasset said, “Ingratitude is man’s greatest defect. The ungrateful forgets that most of the things he has are not his own work. To be conscious of being a heir is to have a true historical conscience.”
And for some centuries before them, a philosopher called, Cicero wrote: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”