· By Scarlett Poppies

Say: Thank You!

Expressing gratitude internalizes good vibes and helps reducing the symptoms of depression. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways, gratitude encompasses all of these meanings.

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what we as individuals receive, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, we acknowledge the goodness in our lives. In this process, we usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside ourselves. As a result, gratitude also helps us connect to something larger than ourselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity, improves our health and builds strong relationships.

We feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. We can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it is a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further – and it is for everyone.

How can we practice gratitude in small simple ways?

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you have received each day. It is proven to be one of the best ways to round off a busy day and set yourself up for good quality sleep.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings, reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number, such as three to five things, that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as "peace"), it is also possible to focus on what you are grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Gratitude exercise every evening. Before you go to bed, spare five minutes and reflect on your day and 5 things to be grateful for. By doing this your mind automatically focuses on what is good rather than the opposite, and it gives a nice feeling of satisfaction and appreciation for what you have actually got in your life.

A moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude.🖤

Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness: it’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.