Gratitude as Mindset and Personal Development Practice

Gratitude is a feeling which comes from the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful for a person, deeply in his/her heart; it is a general state of thankfulness toward an internal or external situations. Gratitude is itself a way of life and a powerful spiritual practice in many spiritual and religious traditions and nowadays it has become a positive habit also in many corporates as an intrinsic attitude of the leadership.

When we are grateful we feel better and we become able to see the good in many life situations. When combined with a gratitude practice, we will also be able to anchor that positive emotion into the brain, changing the synaptic connections,  and into the body, changing the memories achieved in the cells, becoming able to call on that positive emotional reserve whenever we need to.

Gratitude allows us to appreciate, not just cognitively with our mind, but as a reeling in our heart all the pleasant and positive things that life offers to us or that we have received through our actions or our work.

Gratitude is a powerful attitude, a personal development practice and a moral emotion that promotes cooperation, kindness and mutual positive attentions in the society and its benefits are very similar as the benefits we can enjoy from a regular mindfulness meditation practice.

The Benefits that come from adopting a Genuine Gratitude Mindset

Physical Benefits:

  • Reinforcement of the immune system
  • Activation of the brain steam region that releases dopamine
  • Regulation of blood pressure and heart rate

Emotional Benefits:

  • Increasement of inner peace, and calm
  • Enhancement of vitality, sense of achievement, motivation, sense of accomplishment and resilience
  • Improvement of joy, happiness, optimism

Social Benefits:

  • Increasement of compassion, generosity, outgoingness and cooperation
  • Empowerment of the sense of  membership and spiritual love
  • Improvement of the inclination to forgiveness

Practical Strategies that may Enhance Feelings of Gratitude

  • Thinking about someone for whom we are grateful
  • Journaling about things for which to be grateful
  • Writing/sending a letter to someone for whom we are grateful
  • Meditating on gratitude (be present with awareness)
  • Undertaking the “count our blessings” exercise (at the end of the week, writing down on your diary three things for which you were grateful)
  • Practicing saying “thank you”, “ I am grateful for” in a sincere and meaningful way as a mantra.

Author: Cristina Capucci

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