The power of thank you
Improve your health and relationships and achieve your goals... with gratitude
Practising gratitude can transform your relationships and wellbeing
From almost the moment we can talk, it’s drummed into us: ‘Don’t forget to say thank you!’ But being grateful is about much more than good manners. Because an increasing amount of research suggests that being truly thankful can win you new friends, improve your physical and mental health, raise your self-esteem, reduce depression and even help you sleep better.
Practising gratitude isn’t just about saying ‘thanks’ when someone does you a service. It’s about cultivating a meaningful appreciation of what you have, really considering the good things in your life and then expressing the positive feelings you have about them.
The result? Increased levels of empathy and optimism, better relationships – and even a healthier heart!
David Hamilton, scientist and author of
I Heart Me, the Science of Self-love, is a major advocate of the art of gratitude.
‘For me it’s about recognising things,’ he explains. ‘Saying thanks for particular people who are, or have been, in your life, for particular events, things that you’re very satisfied with or that you’re glad happened. It’s an attitude of thankfulness, of appreciation. You hear people saying “an attitude of gratitude”. And it is an attitude for me.’
We all have challenges and it can be hard to feel blessed when it feels like life’s handed you a van load of lemons. But feeling grateful is a skill you can learn and it’s something you can get better at.
‘It’s like anything,’ says David. ‘If you practise regularly, you’ll get better at it.
‘It helps you to look at the world more positively. As your mind scans through the landscape of your day or your life, what gratitude practise does is help your mind settle on the light rather than the dark.’
Paradoxically, David also suggests that learning to be truly content with what you already have, may actually be the best way to get what you want!