I’m sure that there are many benefits to expressing gratitude. Even so, what I experienced during the 8th week of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge I’m on, was a revelation.
An attitude of gratitude is important. The bible teaches so, even the successful teach us so, too. Yet, why has gratitude not yet caught up with the crowd? I may never know.
This post is about what I realized after expressing gratitude to 3 people, and then blogging about it. You can read the details of happened that week here: .
The daily devotional guide we use at home (Everyday with Jesus), mentioned something. It said that we should not only always thank God for his blessing in our lives, but also thank those he uses to bless us.
I paraphrased the statement, but you get the idea. That has stuck to me, even though I have been practicing this for a long time. Daily gratitude has been a practice of mine since 2012 or so, and it makes life look different to me.
However, the daily gratitude that I do is more like an observation. I do share these things here on my blog, and with friends though. I also express my gratitude to God at the end of some days too. But expressing gratitude to people, I do not do that as often.
So the focus of the other week forced me to express gratitude to 3 people, and the experience was good! It is definitely something I want to keep doing, and I’m going to explain why you should too.
1. Reassures the Recipient
I realized that expressing gratitude to someone benefits you, and the person you appreciate. It is a two-way street.
The first part is outward. When you express genuine gratitude to a person, you reassure them of their importance to you. You are letting them know that you appreciate them (or whatever it is they did) and that you do not take it for granted.
Do you remember how it felt when someone expressed deep gratitude to you? Did it make you want to do more? Yes, of course! So I realized that when you express gratitude to others, it makes them want to be more, and do more. It unconsciously makes them want to do more, to be appreciated more.
Expressing gratitude to people, especially when genuine, activates the reward center in the brain. It is why some people become addicted to acts of kindness, because it feels good to be kind. Expressing gratitude, in itself, is an act of kindness, to another person.
So remember this for next time. When you appreciate people, and express it, it makes them want to be and do more.
2. Reinforces Your Value for the Recipient
On the other side of this two-way street, is the other benefit that I observed. This time, it is for you, the person who is expressing the gratitude.
Expressing gratitude to someone reinforces a link between you and that person. We connect with people through experiences in life. And whenever we remember the people in our lives, we remember how they made us feel. We remember our experiences with them.
So we can say that experiences create a link in our minds, to others. And when we express gratitude to someone for something, it strengthens that link in our minds. It makes you appreciate them more, and thus value them more.
3 times I did it the other week, and each time I expressed my gratitude to those people, I felt closer to them. It felt like I had just moved out relationship to a whole new level of value.
To summarize, expressing gratitude strengthens the bonds of relationship between two people. You enjoy expressing gratitude to others, as well as they do. In other words, it is a thing of mutual benefit.
It makes them want to do more, to be appreciated for. It also makes you value them even more. Together, these can only lead to a better and healthier relationship. And who wouldn’t want a healthier relationship?
What other benefits do you think there are to expressing gratitude?
Please share in the comments section below.