So what exactly is gratitude? According to Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude, gratitude has two key components:
It’s “an affirmation of goodness;” when you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world
It’s a recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself; that other people (or higher powers, if you so like) have provided you with “gifts” that improve your life in some way
In Emmons’ view, gratitude is “a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.”
While there are as many reasons to be thankful as there are people in the world, one facet of life that many often forget to be thankful for (until it is too late) is their health. We tend to take our health for granted until we’re suddenly in the throes of pain or debilitating illness.
It goes back to the old adage that it’s really the little things that matter most, and if you cultivate gratitude for the little things, it will foster a more deep-seated sense of happiness.
After all, if you have good health and all your mental faculties intact, you also have the prerequisite basics for doing something about the less satisfactory situations in your life.
Next lets learn how to cultivate the attitude of gratitude!