Gratitude is a powerful positive emotion you can magnify to tremendously enrich your life. Learn how to magnify the power of gratitude to increase your own expression of gratitude and create more happiness for yourself and others.
Why Magnify Gratitude Anyway?
I made a basic assumption in my first draft of this post that everyone who read it would know what the word gratitude means. After reading through the post, and thinking about how confusing semantics can be, I realized I might need to begin with a definition for gratitude.
After looking up the definition in multiple online dictionaries, I realized that finding a definition for gratitude that helps to understand why anyone would want to magnify gratitude isn't so easy.
There are basically two discrete definitions for gratitude. There's the dictionary definition which is the quality of being grateful or thankful. Which I don't think is very helpful.
Then, there's the definition of gratitude that has been expanded upon in the research of gratitude. That turns out to be a really long definition. If you're curious about that lengthy definition, I recommend the article, "What is Gratitude and Why is It So Important?"
Briefly, gratitude is a powerful positive emotion. Since we can only feel one discrete emotion at a time, when we're feeling gratitude, we're not feeling a negative emotion. As you read through this post, if you're unfamiliar with gratitude, I provide examples, etc. which should help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of it.
Many studies have been conducted over the years which support the idea that when we increase our perception of gratitude, the number of times we feel gratitude each day, and the positive emotion associated with gratitude, then we have a perceived better, happier life.
For a comprehensive post on what gratitude means to influencers and bloggers who care about the topic, you can also check out Why Is Gratitude Important For Recovery, Success, Mental Health And More? by Katie Holms at Outwit Trade.
Not So Practical Gratitude
I've known for years I would benefit from being grateful more. Journalling is one of the primary ways, I heard, to experience gratitude. Just write down what you're grateful for each day.
Sounded simple, so I tried journalling. For me, it was an empty effort. I'd sit and think of all the many things I should be grateful for each day, and I'd write each one down dutifully.
I noticed several things: my list didn't vary by much week to week, month to month, and I didn't like the act of gratitude journaling.
I knew if I didn't like the experience, then I was cancelling out any positive benefit from my journaling efforts. That meant I needed to either find a way to like gratitude journaling (not going to happen, I decided) or find a different way to dwell on my gratitude.
Next, I tried taking time each day to say out loud what I was grateful for. Speaking my gratitude seemed more real to me than journalling, but the very act of setting aside time to be grateful seemed artificial.
I know that the more action and emotion I put into something, the more power that event has. This is true because it does become an emotional event, not just an empty thought.
Think about what you remember from the past. Most of our memories have a strong emotional component. We literally remember something because of the strong emotion attached to the thought.
What am I Grateful For?
I knew there had to be a better, more practical, more powerful way to experience my gratitude. I began to search for how to incorporate gratitude more fluidly, practically, and powerfully into my day.
It was easy to look for all the parts of my life where I felt lucky. All the people, animals, places, things, experiences that made me feel more alive, that I'd miss if they weren't part of my life. Unlike my journaling experience, where I set aside the time to remember gratitude, this search happened during my day, throughout the day.
When I took time to notice my feelings of gratitude throughout my day, I realized I naturally feel gratitude many times. Aha, that means I don't have to force my gratitude, I just have to magnify it.
When I look at a butterfly on the flowers in my garden, when I hug my dog and she looks at me with adoration, when I hug my partner and he hugs me back, when I taste something marvelous, when I play with my grandson, or have lunch with my mother and aunt or a friend, so many times I have a fleeting feeling of gratitude for the experience.
My challenge isn't feeling gratitude.It's needing to capture and magnify the power of gratitude so it will have more of a positive impact on my emotional state and my life.
"How can I magnify my feeling of gratitude?" I wondered. How can I put emotion with spoken word, and maybe some action to create a powerful positive event?
My Gratitude Song (and Dance)
I thought about how song and dance emphasize words. Emotion flows with a good song. That's when I came up with my gratitude song to magnify the power of gratitude.
Over several weeks, I created it, word by word, note by note, line by line, until I had a heartfelt ode to gratitude. Then, each time I felt gratitude, I could sing my gratitude song.
I love my life, oh I lov-a my life. It's a wonderful life. Yeah! Yeah! I love my life. Yeah! I love my life. Yeah! I love my life. Oh, I love my life!
It doesn't matter how well I sing or if my song is a chart breaker. I created my song just for me. Any dance steps added to my song are because I feel the need to move joyfully with the song.
It doesn't matter if other people laugh when I break into song or dance. They can't laugh at me because I'm laughing with them. We're laughing at my gratitude and the expression of it together.
Because I'm feeling and expressing gratitude in the moment, my gratitude is magnified. Because I'm putting emotion, action, spoken word and movement, my gratitude is magnified.
Each time I belt out my gratitude song, because I feel gratitude and want to emphasize and dwell on that feeling, I create a strong, vibrant positive in my life that enriches me and everyone else who experiences my song. I magnify the power of gratitude and that magnified gratitude enriches my life exponentially.
Create Your Own Practical Gratitude Experience
Maybe a song and dance aren't your thing. Your in the moment gratitude experience needs to be something you create that resonates with you.
Think about what you enjoy doing that makes you happy. Do you like poetry? Movement? Something else entirely? Remember, this experience is just for you.
In order for you to magnify your own gratitude, you must choose an action that makes you feel good and makes you feel gratitude more because you do it. You can make it as short or as long as you want.
Create your gratitude experience, then when you feel gratitude, try it out. Layer on your magical expression of gratitude you created just to magnify and dwell on your natural feelings of gratitude.
Enjoy the positive effect on your body, mind and spirit as you emphasize the positive, healing emotion of gratitude in your life.
If you liked this post, check out, "The Seven Keys to Happiness".
How do you express gratitude in your life? What works for you? Do you have ways you magnify the power of gratitude in your own life? Please share your experiences in the comments.