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Gratitude: Benefits and its Practice

Harsh is a part-time blogger. He likes to post articles about motivational ideas, that helps people to live their life with gratitude.

Indian priest practising gratitude

Indian priest practising gratitude

Understanding Gratitude

If you are on social media then you can find that many of the users show us to amplifying gratitude in our lives by putting '#blessed' on their different post. Well, I found this tradition on social media very ugly because how a symbol(#) and a group of words(blessed) make someone happy and grateful, I mean attaching a hashtag on a moment doesn't help us to dig the roots of intentional gratitude to our lives every day. So, think before attaching such hashtags to your post.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

Gratitude is considered the world's most powerful drug that leads to happiness and fulfilment in the life of human beings. Many Psychologists, Doctors and Psychiatrist believe in the capacity of gratefulness to bring any person to heaven.

Benedictine Monk Brother David Steindl-Rast defines gratitude as the feeling of appreciation that comes when you recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth. Gratitude doesn't come from money, if you believe that gratitude is the product of money and fame than you are under the myth. Gratitude does not come from money or fame but from our own values and mindset of helping others, if you do not have such values then try to consider that values and mindset into your own body and mind.

It is hard to believe the positive benefits of gratitude, but it truly linked to better mental health, self-awareness, better relationships, and a sense of fulfilment. It leads us to the path of success and mental healing. When we do something good for others, then it returns to us in the form of positive energy that helps us to grow.

For years researchers have researched the effectiveness of gratitude and find its crucial role in overcoming real traumas. A study published in 2006 found that Vietnam War veterans with a high-level of gratitude can experience a lower level of post-traumatic stress disorder. When we start accepting our mistake with gratitude then we start growing and making ourselves mature. Now if you can face any setback than appreciate it with gratitude and you will find true happiness.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

— Gautam Buddha

Gratitude Equals to Happiness

I am not sure about you but in my case whenever I help any person who needs help, then I feel an overwhelming amount of happiness and joy in my body, it fills my whole body with positivity left no space for negativity. This happens not only to me but some of my friends also feel this overwhelming emotion after helping others. You can also feel this emotion by helping any needy individual, but it doesn't mean that you also show gratitude to that person who does wrong with you, you don't have to be grateful for everyone in your life.


UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb said that when we feel grateful than our mind secretes the reward chemical Dopamine, a hormone mainly responsible for happiness, which makes us happier. Not only this there are thousands of experiment done which reveals the deep relation of both. Pema Chodron, an American nun, advises that be grateful to yourself. And then let your gratitude flood the world with happiness. When you are happy then you can share your happiness with other people and it helps in the development of humanity.

When I was in my high school in Faizabad, India, one of my friends spend major of his school time complaining about things, why this happened to me, why I got bad marks in Mathematics, why I am not good at this? as a result of complaining he was always sad and lacks confidence. I felt very bad about him and wanted to help him but at that time I was not mature enough to explain to him the dark truth of complaining.

Well, that was the past of my life and I am unable to change it, but through this fact, I hope you understand that what happens when we confine ourselves into the chamber of negativity and lots of complaints. Instead of complaining, we should appreciate the setbacks with gratitude, then we thrive ourselves with a humongous amount of happiness and confidence, this helps to make ourselves more rigid against the problems and challenges that life offers us.

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How to practice gratitude?

Okay fine!! we gather a deep amount of knowledge about gratitude and its benefits, I hope it helps you to feel grateful, but this is not the end of this article? You lack the most important step that is, how to practice gratitude?

Ancient timeless gratitude practices have arisen all around the world. Native Indians, the tradition of thanksgiving abound before eating the food, students pray to god in the school campus before the classes, etc. Native Americans also have a tradition of thanksgiving to other people. These practices not only indicates our moral or our duties towards others but it actually transforms us into the grateful person, if we truly want to transform ourselves. I don't know you believe it or not, but these practices have an immediate effect on human beings unless you are not the victim of external influences. Helen Keller, who became deaf and blind as a toddler after an unidentified illness wrote,


When one door of happiness closes, another door opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

— Helen Keller

When something doesn't go on our way or not happen according to our own plan, then we surround ourselves with negativity, as a result, we lost gratitude and it leads to a lack of confidence, anxiety, depression etc. This is the problem that we have to remove from our life.

Now I want you to try one trick.

You have to make yourself aware of the circumstances when you usually complain about things, this trick actually helps you to understand the situation and allow you to react with gratitude, not with negativity. If your mind says 'You are useless' or 'You can't do that thing', then try to reverse this statement into 'I am confident and useful' or 'I can do anything and repeat it several times until you gain the confidence.

By doing this you not only allow yourself to do the thing confidently but you can also increase your gratitude level.

Many famous personalities such as Emma Watson, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Page, Bill Gates, Danish Dhamani etc, used this practice of gratitude to make themselves more productive and grateful. Jay Shetty, an Indian-American motivational influencer, also talks about this practice and its benefits in his book Think Like a Monk.

Brian Acton worked at Yahoo for eleven years, he had enough experience in his area of interest. He had applied at Twitter but got rejected, after knowing about his rejection he posted a tweet, "Got denied by Twitter. Better luck next time". After that, he applied at Facebook but again he got rejected and he again tweeted, "Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to meet with some stupendous people. Looking forward to life's next adventure". After setbacks, he collaborated with one of his alumni member of Yahoo and ended working five years on an app named, What's app. He sold this app to Facebook for $19 billion which was not worth it in comparison to his hard work.

As you can see after getting bunches of setbacks Brian Acton never complained about his life and luck. He just faced the challenges of life with gratitude and positivity, you can also become like him if you practice gratitude.

Whether you lose and win against the challenges of life, don't forget to celebrate the wins and mourning the losses, we deliberately look at either situation with perspective, accept it gratefully and humbly, and move forward.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."

— Oprah Winfrey

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Harsh Vardhan Pathak

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