In the UK, the nearest we ever got to a Thanksgiving was when we used to celebrate our Harvest Festival. When I was a child the Harvest Festival was a big deal at school. The Harvest Festival was a form of Thanksgiving where we celebrated the food we received and gave to those less fortunate of us. (My mother regularly cleared out her “tin cupboard”, to pack me off to school, with my donation for the school hampers, they usually gave to older and sick people). Now I may simply mix in the wrong circles, but it’s been years since I heard about the Harvest Festival.
When we were kids, my family were big on manners, and we were automatically taught to say “Thank you” It was the done thing, and if we violated this exercise in politeness, we were taken to task with a big frown.
Polite thank-yous don’t have the same effect
Of course, as a child, I didn’t realise the significance of those words and why they are so important. It took me years to stop being polite with my “Thank you’s” and to mean them with sincerity. Much of my growing awareness stemmed from my life simply not working. I was tenacious enough to want to discover why. One of the reasons it wasn’t working had a lot to do with my polite “Thank you” and here’s why.
- We are all transmitters radiating who we are in our being, whether aware of it or not
- The essence of what we believe, think and feel is being communicated to everyone we meet without saying a word. It’s called energy, and what we send out, we receive right back
- When we say one thing but are thinking another, on a level, it is picked up by others and we become incongruent
- Saying “Thank you” without meaning it means we become incongruent
- Feeling grateful when we say “Thank you” means we are in alignment with our truth
- Feeling gratitude and appreciation is akin to feeling universal and unconditional love
- Getting in touch with our feelings of gratitude must be practised like a muscle
- The more we practice, the more we feel grateful for, and that means we focus more on things we are grateful for
- What we focus on grows
- What we pay attention to grows
- When we practice, focus on and pay attention to our gratitude we get more things and people to be grateful for
- When our world is full of things to be grateful for, it means we have a world filled with love
The Neuroscience of Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can have significant impacts on the brain and overall well-being. Neuroscientific studies have shown that expressing gratitude can activate the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with understanding other people’s perspectives, empathy, and feelings of relief. This activation can lead to increased feelings of connectedness and satisfaction.
In a study by Kini et al., published in 2015 in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology,” participants who wrote gratitude letters showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they later thought about the experience of expressing gratitude. This suggests that the act of expressing gratitude can have lasting effects on the brain.
In the workplace, expressing gratitude can have numerous benefits. It can improve employee morale, increase productivity, and foster a positive work environment. A study by Grant and Gino (2010) found that thanking employees can make them feel more valued and motivate them to be more productive.
Saying “Thank You” is essential
In my country the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I think as a result we fail to celebrate and exercise our muscle of love and it’s collectively sorely missing. My parents were right. Saying “Thank You” is essential, the piece they didn’t quite understand to teach us was that we needed to say it with meaning. Do you say “Thank you” politely or “Thank you” with gratitude?
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