Thank you. Those two words are among the most powerful in any language. These simple words can make all the difference to their intended recipient – acknowledging effort, rewarding excellence, or simply bringing joy. Conversely, the absence of those words can spawn resentment and animosity. For this reason, we should express our thanks often, and with sincerity. We can certainly impact others with our words and actions of “thanks.”
But the greatest benefits of gratitude may be reserved for the person who expresses it. This isn’t just my opinion. It is scientific fact!
This article from Psychology Today sites several studies that measured the effects of gratitude on the human condition. In summary, the test subjects who regularly expressed gratitude (in journals and verbally) had more energy and attention, were more optimistic and focused, and even slept better than their counterparts who focused on the negative or arduous aspects of their circumstances.
While this makes perfect sense, intuitively, it is also fascinating. We have the power every day to affect our experience, mood, energy, productivity, and likeability. It doesn’t cost us anything except the time and discipline of stopping to say “Thank You” for the positive aspects of our life and circumstances. Regardless of the difficulty of what you are facing, positive aspects are always present!
If you are a person of faith, as I am, thank your Creator for the gifts you are given. Thank the people who support you. Thank those who challenge you, as well.
The thing is, this is not a one-time effort. It’s a daily adjustment; a discipline; a skill. It takes practice to make it routine and automatic. When you commit to gratitude as a way of life, you will undergo a transformation in both experience and (I believe) results.
Thank you for being part of my life and audience. Thank you for the difference you make every day in the world and in the lives of the people you encounter. I am truly grateful.