Expressing your gratitude by giving back
The word gratitude derives from the Latin root gratis and means to have thankfulness and gratification. There are questions as to whether or not the state of being grateful also includes indebtedness, but the Google definition of gratitude definitely includes a reciprocal component.
The word gratitude rhymes with attitude (perhaps not coincidentally) and those who possess genuine appreciation will not only want to give back but do so in a way which expresses their gratitude.
Acknowledge for what you are grateful:
Expressing your gratitude involves focusing on what you do have rather than what you wish you had. Rather than looking at those with more material wealth, a truly grateful person looks at those less fortunate and realizes the value of their situation.
Before you can start giving back, you need to acknowledge precisely for what you are grateful. Acknowledging your gratitude also helps to reduce negative emotions. There are numerous ways to accomplish recognizing your gratitude, below are just a few:
• Journaling on a regular basis provides a way to keep your thoughts current and realize though imperfect, you have much to be grateful for in your life.
• Reflect each day quietly on your gratitude.
• Meditate or pray as your religious affiliation or belief system dictates. In just about any dominant religion, you will find gratitude a major tenet. Also, in the secular society, gratefulness remains an integral part of humanity.
Put your thankfulness into action:
Taking care of yourself and both physically and mentally indeed demonstrates you appreciate your life. There are ways to improve your quality of life and possibly your longevity.
- Diet and exercise are, of course, vital to your physical well-being.
- Keeping your mind active by reading, taking classes or learning new skills has been shown to retain cognitive function throughout our lives.
- Socializing and interacting with others especially in person remains one of the most critical components of mental health and longevity. Socializing doesn’t mean chatting with your coworkers as you pour over spreadsheets or calling up your three-year-old grandchild to tell them how much you love them, though indeed, those occurrences have their value. We need to socialize and have meaningful conversations or just fun with friends and family at gatherings, parties, or just over lunch or coffee.
- Practicing daily acts of kindness often involves little or no financial burden. There are benefits both to the giver and the recipient.
- Smiling even at a stranger rather than ignoring them makes a person’s day instantly better in that you just acknowledged their humanity and solidified yours.
Encouragement when given in the form of a conversation and when appropriate a simple hug goes a long way for someone experiencing anxiety or uncertainty.
- Pay it forward by paying for a stranger’s coffee or paying a utility bill for a friend or family member.
- Giving back through charities and donations makes you feel good, but more importantly, makes the world a better place. Whether you give a one-time, annual gift, or become a sustaining giver for an organization, charitable giving demonstrates both gratitude and the importance of involvement in our society.
Mentoring at work or volunteering may potentially help an individual, an important cause, or even the planet. Choosing something that impassions you in which to donate your time not only moves that particular cause or agenda forward, but scientific research indicates it may very well help you live a longer life. Minimally, it will improve the quality of your life.
An essential component of gratitude involves the fact that though you want to express your thankfulness through giving back, you expect nothing in return. Gratitude also has little to do with acquiring material possessions or even money. Health, security, love and belonging, and overall happiness are worthy of appreciation.
Being grateful and expressing your gratitude in a way in which provides help but doesn’t enable destructive behavior will assist you in living a happier and possibly a longer life.