Gratitude, The Secret Ingredient

Gratitude, the secret ingredient

There are days that are better than others, and we all know it. There are certain stages in which we are overwhelmed by the pace of life, beset by our doubts, or emotionally inactive.

Faced with this, we must seek solutions to find happiness and restore our personal balance. Gratitude is one of them.

It seems certain that to achieve this, the key is to bring together a set of elements in our inner world, as well as in our environment. It is not a long quiet river. Happiness must be worked on on a daily basis.

One way to start or continue this path, which you may have already started, is to focus on a very useful and very good ingredient for our mind, which is gratitude.

How many times have we just forgotten to say thank you? How many times have we not done it out of modesty, or because we didn’t realize what someone had done for us?

We need to be aware of the power of words. It is important to know how to pronounce them at the right time, with the wrong tone, the right emphasis and true sincerity.

We don’t always choose our words well, and we are often clumsy, even if we have the best of intentions.

Have you ever thought about the way you thank people? Why do we do it? Is it the same to thank and say thank you?


Five letters

“Thank you”. Five letters for a very simple word, which nevertheless has the power to provoke a certain emotion in humans.

On the one hand it can represent a kind of automatic formalism, but on the other hand it can have incredible power, expressing sincerity.

We often say “thank you” under any circumstances. We give it away to strangers every day. We are educated to respect this social norm.

“Thank you for coming”, “thank you for participating”, “thank you for this dinner”, “thank you for the invitation”, etc. Each thank you is more or less formal and more or less felt.

We say thank you for establishing social communication. It opens doors for us, brings us closer to others, and promotes our integration into a given group.

However, there are other types of “thank you” that we unfortunately practice much less: one that is transmitted between parents, between friends, between relatives, and which has the color of feelings.

In all these specific cases, we can speak of recognition.

What recognition hides

We are no longer talking about social formalities or automatisms. We’re no longer talking about saying “thank you” to people who seek your recognition at work.

We are talking about taking an informed look into our past to identify people who, without ever asking for anything, have helped us, sometimes even without knowing it, or without the intention of doing so. But the result is the same.

This sports trainer who knew how to see beyond the balls, the rankings or the hurdles. This professor who transmitted to us his love of books, history or mathematics. This loved one who made us spend the best summers of our lives, in the most natural way possible.

Being grateful is connecting with one of our emotions and sharing it  with someone who is responsible, either voluntarily or unintentionally, for the state we find ourselves in.

Being grateful helps us:

  • Release our pent-up feelings and find inner peace.
  • Realize our desire to thank someone, and not constantly postpone it until the next day.
  • Boost our self-esteem.
  • Forge strong social bonds.
  • Fight bad times and negative emotions.

A secret ingredient, but scientifically proven

Martin Seligman is one of the world’s most recognized psychologists. He is one of the major thinkers of positive psychology, whose mission is to scientifically study the emotions and positive qualities of human beings.

With Peterson, they developed a questionnaire capable of identifying and classifying the strengths and virtues that lead to a better quality of life.

They were not based only on contemporary studies, but also on ancient philosophical texts, coming from all cultures, all religions and all continents.

From this enormous bibliographic base, they managed to bring out occurrences and common elements.

One of the general categories, called “Transcendence”, groups together the forces which give meaning to life and which connect us with our environment, as well as with universal emotions. Gratitude is one of them.

Transcendence can be defined as “being aware of and grateful for the good things that happen to us, as well as knowing how to thank ”.

woman thanking-the-sky

Develop your gratitude

There are many obstacles to not succeeding, from the fear of speaking out, through the feeling that it is already too late, to the feelings of pride and pride, which sometimes prevent us from being sincere.

Shyness can also totally inhibit gratitude and recognition in a person.

However, the effect of gratitude is so positive, that if we feel it in our mind, we should not hesitate to express it.

Before we put it into practice, we need to identify the things for which we can be truly grateful.

Our recommendations :

  • Every day, or once a week, take a few minutes to identify the things for which you are grateful. 
    It will help you to value and reflect on the actions, situations and people that bring you peace and positivity in your daily life.
  • Write a letter to someone from your past who you want to thank for something.
    You don’t need to identify a heroic act from someone close to you. You can be grateful for routine gestures, little attentions, minor events, discoveries, etc.

Think of someone and take your time, put your ideas in order so that you can express how you are feeling, then go for it. You are the only person who can choose how you want to do it.

You can mail the letter, hand it to him, or read it to him. On our side, we recommend that you read it aloud in front of the person, and then talk about it with them.

Beyond the five letters that you will pronounce, you will live a real experience and feel strong emotions.

Find out the best way to enjoy gratitude and recognition. It is one of the safest ways to feel good, to discover yourself and to forge your identity.

Sharing something in this way allows you to connect with your positive emotions, and to put a new stone on your path to happiness.


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