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Posted by Hannah on Nov 23rd 2015
With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, it’s a perfect time to talk about gratitude (and to feel it, I daresay). Personally, I think expressing thanks is terribly underrated (unless you’ve read The Secret and you keep a gratitude journal).
So what’s so important about showing appreciation? Well, for starters, it’s good for you! Yes, it’s scientifically proven that expressing thanks lowers stress levels, anxiety and depression! Simply put, it forces you to notice the good in your life and then heightens your senses to the big and little things that you are lucky to have. You begin to recognize what you do have instead of what you don’t. And then, picture this: you actually stop feeling all that jealousy that consumes you. What’s not good about that? Try it.
Saying thanks is not just about you, however (apologies to all the narcissists reading this) - it’s also about acknowledging the good that another has done. It tells them that you notice and appreciate their gesture. Not rocket science, I know. But what is so great about this, is that it then encourages and motivates that individual to continue giving and doing for others. By saying thanks, you actually play an important role in creating more goodness!
I was surprised to learn recently, that in India, saying thank you is actually a big no-no! The understanding there is that we are expected to give and share with friends and family, and saying thank you creates a distance in the relationship that infers that there is little connection- which is actually offensive! It’s like saying “I don’t think you should be giving/doing/sharing with me because you’re a stranger”. So instead, the accepted way to show appreciation is simply by giving back- doing favors and being there when you’re called upon- because that’s what we do for those we care about. No thank-yous necessary. So simple!
As for me, I’m all for saying thanks because that’s what I was taught and I see the value in it. It forces me to notice the good in my life, keeps me focused on the here and now and it propels me to give back and do good. Yes, I do sometimes get distracted because I’m human. And when that happens, I simply dig up my gratitude journal and retreat to saying my thanks.
This Thanksgiving, give thanks and let someone know that they are appreciated, today and every day.