Expressing Gratitude: Can You Thank Away the Blues?
Want to give your self-esteem a boost and chase away that “down in the dumps” feeling? Just thank someone for his or her help. Expressing gratitude can do wonderful things.
For years, researchers have been studying the effects that a daily dose of gratitude can have on a person’s general well being, finding incredible positive results; so much so that UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center even launched a campaign in an effort to spread awareness and encourage gratitude-based behavior.
Other studies have found that increased gratitude can lead to greater life satisfaction and improved qualities of relationships as well. Even those who suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder seem to benefit from expressing gratitude.
When you thank someone, it makes him or her feel appreciated, and at the same time should give a boost to your own self-esteem for making someone else feel worthwhile. After all, improving your self-esteem helps improve your own sense of self worth, both of which contribute to alleviating depression. Expressing gratitude is an easy way to latch on to a positive feeling. As each day goes by, you slowly replace your negative thoughts and sad feelings with positive thoughts and happier feelings. So thank away!
Take Note of Goods Deeds
Try to remember that when someone gives you a gift or does you a favor, that person made a conscious effort to make your day better. Why not return the favor? Saying thank you signifies conscious recognition of the fact and lets that person know that his or her efforts did not go unnoticed. If even in the smallest way, it makes that person feel valuable to you, and then even maybe to others. Making others feel better about themselves is a way of making you feel better about yourself. As you feel better and better about yourself, you can’t help but start losing the blues and improving your own life satisfaction in the process.
Give To Get
Being thankful on a daily basis is an important part of cultivating a grateful attitude. The other side of the coin is to provide others with the opportunity to thank you. Make a point of doing something for someone else every day. It can be as simple as paying someone a compliment or offering to return his or her shopping cart to the storefront for someone. It can also be something more involved, such as joining a volunteer group. Receiving gratitude from another also increases your sense of well being.
It’s The Thought That Counts
Maybe you have a significant other who stops by the store to pick up some ice cream for you on a whim, or maybe someone does some dreary task for you on a regular basis without ever waiting to be asked. Whether it’s every day, or out of the blue, don’t miss the chance to let that person know he or she made a difference in your life.
Maybe ice cream is too cold for your teeth, or you actually enjoy that seemingly dreary task. So what? As people always say, “It’s the thought that counts”. So no matter what the effort, it’s important to express your gratitude. Imagine how you would feel or have felt bringing someone something you thought would brighten their day only to have them dismiss it right in front of you. It is negative feedback like that that can knock you right off the wall, just like Humpty Dumpty. Just be genuinely grateful and allow the person doing the kind deed to see that you are. You’ll both feel better for it.