Gratitude Psychology

Gratitude Psychology

"For every drop of sweetness someone gives, there is one less drop of bitterness in the world." Mother Teresa of Calcutta


  • 1 What is gratitude really about
  • 2 The benefits of being grateful
  • 3 How to make my thank you diary?

What does gratitude really consist of

Gratitude is a feeling of esteem and wanting to reciprocate a favor or benefit they have given us, it may simply imply the intention of doing us good, even if it could not be done. That feeling drives us to action, generally producing a pleasant sensation. The so-called Positive Psychology, studies this feature; at the UCLA Comprehensive Care Awareness Research Center (University of California, Los Angeles, USA), they have observed, through research done in this regard, that gratitude improves the perception of well-being, modify and transform our brain activity, in ourselves and in the people who receive the samples of our gratitude samples.

Being grateful is a convenient trait that many people have; others do not have it so developed, however, through the exercise of the will and with the help of certain strategies it can be achieved. Thankfulness It has the ability to transform relationships and strengthen bonds, which is convenient for society.

Gratitude is not a debt you acquire with the person who had a significant gesture for you.

“Gratitude is sometimes a hook. Our culture made it an obligation and the consumer society has set up a great business with it. ”Anthony de Mello

In many cultures, thanks are confused with the excessive self-sacrifice and self-denial of the individual, even at the cost of their well-being and health… That is not thanks, as in everything, it is good to set our limits, although it is true that it is beneficial for society that people express their gratitude, it is not when the demands of the people who “gave you something”, They feel they have the right to run over yours, they don't even have to mistreat you at any level. We have to learn to say no, without feeling guilty when something does not seem to us and do so assertively, although the aggressions come from a person who did you a favor or had a detail with you; this is more like handling on your part and you don't have to allow it.

The benefits of being grateful

“Learn to live fully, humanely and happily every day. The truly human attitude is to learn to swim, and not to drown with your friend. ” Anthony de Mello

There is a person with whom you should always be grateful, she is the one who has never left you, although you have often abandoned her, she is that person who although you have offended her in many ways ... perhaps for trying to please others, sometimes you have postponed their own needs, but still with you, that person will always be with you, that person You are yourself!

When you learn to be grateful for life and for the wonder that is your body and all that it does for you, you can acquire greater balance in your life. Robert A. Emmons of the UCLA and collaborators, conducted a study in which the participating subjects were selected randomly, they kept a weekly newspaper: one group wrote the things that made them angry, another group described in that register aspects for which they felt thanks and the other group kept track of "neutral events". After 10 weeks, the subjects of the group who wrote for what they were grateful for: they felt 25% better than the other groups, they gave up an average of 1.5 more hours and referred to have less health problems, with respect to the other participating subjects of the other groups.

Based on the results of their research, they proposed a technique that has had excellent results to develop this beneficial quality of being grateful, they called it “thank you diary”.

How to make my thank you diary?

To be ourselves we must have our life stories. We must remind ourselves, remember the inner drama, the narrative of ourselves. A man needs a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his car. Oliver Sacks

Choose a notebook that is exclusive for these purposes, this valuable tool can help increase your self-esteem, so It contributes to physical and emotional well-being. Help to reduce the  stress and stimulate your resilience in difficult times; likewise, it can motivate you to take action.

For technology lovers, there are many applications available where they can keep their gratitude records, in which you can even add photos of the special moments for which you feel gratitude.

Aspects are written in this diary for which you feel grateful, they can be material or not, such as: "be grateful for being healthy", "thanks for being alive", even for material issues such as: having food, shelter, for a gift or nice detail that you received from someone. This practice is advisable to perform at least weekly or more frequently if you wish. This way you will improve your ability to be grateful.

It is good to have it at home at hand, because it is a very useful resource when you experience times of adversity or show decay in your mood, because It reminds you that you have things, pleasant experiences and people who appreciate you, It can contribute to modify the molecular structure of the brain, producing a mood of joy and satisfaction, as the research marks.

It is good to take into account what you write to take action, thus producing a wellness chainWell, when you express your gratitude to others, whether through word or some detail, you expand that well-being in your brain and in that of the people to whom you manifest them, usually this is the case, these small or large Actions can be very significant for you and others. Even if they were not for others, it is for you, because You are sowing and cultivating gratitude. So it is a highly recommended practice to foster good relationships both intrapersonal and interpersonal.

Here I leave you: 101 wonderful phrases of gratitude and some Tales and fables: Nasruddin's Tales to inspire you.


Bibliographic references

  • Mello, A. (2007). Interior self-liberation. Argentina: Lumen Publishing Group.