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From latin, the word gratus means ‘pleasing and thankful’. Gratitude, derived from gratus, is the quality of appreciating what one has. Practicing gratitude has both social and psychological benefits for both benefactors and recipients.

  1. Gratitude provides a focus on what one has instead of lacks.

Many people let the bad overwhelm the good to unhealthy extents. For instance, many kids become upset during Christmas because of “lame” gifts, overlooking the fact that anyone cared enough to give them any.

  1. Gratitude improves relationships.

A study from Florida State University regarding couples revealed that showing more gratitude in a relationship creates more mutual positivity and comfortability.

  1. Gratitude increases the positivity of individuals.

Psychologists named Dr. Michael McCullough and Dr. Robert Emmons conducted a study where three groups of individuals either wrote about gratitude, negativity, or anything about their lives for 10 weeks. The group that wrote about what they were grateful for ended up feeling more optimistic and positive about their lives than the other two groups.

Though gratitude is so great of a concept, it’s hard to practice. Many people find themselves doing the exact opposite. Yet, there are efforts that can be taken to practice gratitude more and more.

  1. Maintain a Gratitude Journal.

Just like in the study by Dr. McCullough and Dr. Emmons, regularly jotting down the good of life can change one for the better in terms of having a positive outlook.

  1. Mentally Thank Someone.

Building appreciation bit by bit can go a long way over time, and mentally thanking people and things can help nudge that.

  1. Pray.

Depending on the religion, praying or worshipping can provide mental enlightenment. Gratitude included.

  1. Thanking Someone.

Taking the initiative and expressing gratitude with a short or lengthy expression or gift of some sort makes a big impact. Not only is it stepping out of the comfort zone and expanding one’s capacity to show gratitude (which applies to many people), but it’s putting gratitude into impactful action.

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