Gratitude Makes the World Better
"Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given." —Sufi saying
Yesterday I heard Dr. Christine Carter and Rona Renner talking about gratitude in their podcast, "Happiness Matters." Christine also blogged about gratitude being the foundation of happiness. They're discussing it in the context of parenting and raising happy children, but it applies to all of us (including nonprofit organizations!).
Christine's main point was that by being aware of the things we're grateful for, and then expressing this thanks, we become more happy. She went on to explain how gratitude increases our feelings of self-worth, which goes like this:
I am grateful for something you have done for me, so I tell you. In this, I am acknowledging that you made some kind of sacrifice in order to help me, which you must have done because you think I am important. So I think "I am the kind of person who is worth doing something for." Self-worth goes up.
What's more, when I thank you for doing something, it makes you feel good, and it makes us feel closer to each other. And feeling closer makes us both feel good. This is also how gratitude strengthens our social connections, which we know are so important.
Gratitude is a super-social emotion -- it makes us feel very connected to each other. This makes it even more powerful as it ripples through social networks (online and offline), and this is how it strengthens communities.
So -- thank some people today! Thank your:
- boss and/or staff
- bus driver, mail carrier, cashier when you buy your lunch
- parents and/or kids
It will make you all feel happier and more connected to each other -- key ingredients in making the world a better place!