"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." ~ William Arthur Ward
When the kids were little, we used to go around the Thanksgiving table and everyone had to say what they were grateful for. It was assumed that we all were grateful for family, friends, health, etc. so we had to dig a little deeper. Often, it made room for more lively conversation. At the time it did not occur to me that we should really be doing this everyday, not just on a holiday.
Expressing gratitude everyday, whether it be thru journaling, voicing it or meditating over it, is crucial to our state of well being. The science is there. It can literally be measured; heart rates lower as does blood pressure, depression can be reduced, the practice improves relationships and enriches deeper connections, encourages us to meet personal goals, and last but not least leads to a better night's sleep!
The more you practice gratitude, the longer the good vibes last, like "muscle memory" when we work out, we can train our brain to help us feel better longer. I read somewhere that when we practice gratitude for as long as it takes us to brush our teeth we add 3 minutes to our lives. I don't know if that's true but what do we have to lose? What else are we doing while we brush our teeth? I am going to make this a new practice!
Another of the many benefits of "the attitude of gratitude" is that feeling better leads to better interactions, thereby spreading the joy. You are actually paying it forward in lots of small ways. When someone is kind to you, you are more likely than not to be kind in return moving forward. Hence ~ thanks and giving : )