STRONGER TOGETHER: The great thing about being grateful and showing gratitude

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Last updated: 19/09/2022

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses gratitude and its effect on wellbeing.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Gratitude may seem like somewhat of a buzzword these days, but there’s plenty to be abuzz about.

Tanya OShea IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

The practice of gratitude is not only a nice thing to do for others but also for yourself. Research suggests that being grateful and expressing gratitude towards others can improve our happiness and quality of life. Gratitude enhances empathy, improves physical health, mental wellbeing, quality of sleep, self-esteem and, also has the capacity to reduce stress.  

Identifying what you’re grateful for, especially during challenging times, can help foster resilience and improve our wellbeing.

Expressing gratitude to others goes a step further from identifying things we are grateful for. It actions it, often shifting the focus to appreciating the kindness, nature, and acts of others. When we meaningfully express our gratitude and appreciation for others, seldom is it lost on them.

Several years ago, I received an anonymous gratitude card filled with praise and positivity about me. This act, seemingly so simple, was incredibly uplifting. The generosity of such an act can have a compelling effect on people and their capacity to cultivate happiness, kindness, and compassion.

While September 21 marks World Gratitude Day for 2022, and it’s well worth pausing on this day to reflect and express gratitude – there’s also no time like the present.

There are various ways in which to show or express gratitude; these include writing thank you notes, keeping a gratitude journal and practicing mindfulness.

The great thing about being grateful is that’s really easy to get started, you don’t need any special equipment. Simply start by observing and noticing the things that people are doing around you each day that you appreciate or are thankful for. Make a mental or written note of who did it and why you are grateful to have noticed it.

We all know using our manners can go a long way, and simply saying ‘thank you’ is no exception, particularly when we’re talking about gratitude.

Take a moment today, on September 21 and every other day to reflect on what or who you’re grateful for and how you can share it.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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