Gratitude and Self Improvement

Gratitude and Self Improvement

Expressing gratitude is always good as it has a great benefit to the receiver for their acts of kindness. Theresa Carter from Age Concern Hampshire said, "saying thank you is hugely important because it just lifts everybody's spirits. It shows you that you're recognising the work that's going on and I think it means a lot to the individual."

It doesn't just raise the spirit of the person deserving of those thanks though, it also has  a profound effect on the person who is doing the thanking.

The act of giving thanks is key to our own self development and to improving society as a whole!

Gratitude is an empowering, activating empowering force that can truly aid us in achieving our own personal goals.

Gratitude can motivate us to make changes in our own behaviour. When we experience gratitude we are empowered and energised and more driven to achieve our objectives.

Gratitude is instrumental in making people feel that their actions are validated, it makes positive outcomes more expected. People feel worthy of those positive solutions through the power of gratitude.

Grateful people are often healthier, they often suffer less symptoms of illness. They feel more inclined to get involved in social activity, which helps the individual and wider society.

If we have an attitude of gratitude, we will want to spread that good feeling to others. It will encourage us to be kinder to others, People who practice gratitude are more likely to help strangers.

When someone is kind to us we want to repay them with gratitude. We want to pay them back. But we also want to take that thread of gratitude and 'pay forward' by acting kindly to others and starting more chains of gratitude.

By doing this we will create a better world around us as gratitude drives individuals forward. It is a motivating emotion that spurs an individual to action. 

Gratitude achieves this in 4 key areas:

1. Connectedness

Feeling grateful makes us think about relationships with others. It strengthens our connections to other people. This connection also drives us to become better individuals; it drives our own self development.

This closeness builds powerful support networks which support and encourage us to achieve more challenging goals and ambitions.

We want to prove that we are worthy of this support and better ourselves in order to achieve this.

2. Elevation

Elevation is the warm feeling we get when we see other people performing acts of kindness and it moves us to become better people.

This feeling of elevation moves us to be more generous, to try and reach the same level as the wonderful people around us.

Gratitude creates this feeling of elevation which then helps the individual to pursue self-improvement and development.

Increased elevation is linked with putting more effort into acts of kindness. Elevation through gratitude can move individuals to be kinder and better people.

3. Humility

If we are grateful, we are more humble. It takes the focus away from ourselves and makes us acknowledge that our success, at least in part is due to the kind actions of others.

Humility helps us to see how others have supported and encouraged us, it encourages us to make our behaviour more positive. By helping others and bettering ourselves, we not only pay back the people who have helped us along the way, we spread positivity through gratitude to even more people.

4. Indebtedness

Reflecting on how much people have helped us may not always be easy, but it leads us to feel obligated to repay them for their help, we may feel awkward because we needed help in the first place, and guilty for not thanking them sooner.

These mixed feelings may help lead us to be more positive in our actions. Feeling indebted to someone can increase our motivation, productivity and drive us towards more self-improvement.

The evidence strongly suggests gratitude often motivates us to strive for our goals and become better people.

Gratitude has the power to do more than just make us happy and drive self-improvement. It can also inspire us to become more productive members of society and better citizens of the world.

If you'd like to listen to our latest social care radio show on the same theme please click here: