Essay and Answer Writing

“Happiness comes from gratitude”

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness” – happiness can be achieved in many ways. It may result from achieving a desired goal, attaining satisfaction or receiving positive news. But it is often noticed that a person who might have everything they desire in life may not necessarily feel ‘happy’ about it. News reports everyday talk about independent, successful and even young achievers becoming prey to mental health issues including depression. Can then happiness be simply equated with material success? The essay focuses on showing that real happiness can be achieved by counting every blessing one has in life and by being grateful for having what we have. 
 
What is happiness and gratitude?
All of us have our own definitions of these, and for the most part, they will probably sound pretty similar. The English language has more than 500 words for different emotional experiences, and only 2 of these “emotional experiences” are gratitude and happiness. 
 
Gratitude and happiness are two topics that have been long researched. As more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of applying Positive Psychology evidence-based theory, science, and methods to their daily life, gratitude and happiness are rising to the top of the ‘priority self’-checklist. Both the terms are quite often used interchangeably but they are not exactly synonyms. 
 
·Happiness has many definitions, and it’s defined as experiencing frequent positive emotions, like joy, pride, and interest with less negative emotions like anger, sadness, and anxiety. Furthermore, happiness is related to life satisfaction, moments of pleasure, and appreciation of life.
·Gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.
 
Gratitude and happiness are more than just mere gestures and feelings. And there are some serious science-based theories behind each of these emotional states of being.
 
Are they related?
Gratitude is an attitude and way of living that has been shown to have many benefits in terms of health, happiness, satisfaction with life, and the way we relate to others. It goes hand in hand with mindfulness in its focus on the present and appreciation for what we have now, rather than wanting more and more. In the process, people usually recognise that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals - whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
 
Researchers in psychology have found that gratitude and happiness are always strongly correlated. It is possible that gratitude moves people to experience more positive emotions, to thoroughly enjoy the good experiences, better their health, face adversity, and develop and maintain relationships of strength, which in turn makes you happier.
 
Three common ways people can express their gratitude are: 
·By being gracious of their past 
·By being gracious for the present 
·By being grateful for what’s to come
 
Healthy population studies have found that when participants exhibited a positive effect, like joy, happiness, energy and vigour, life satisfaction, optimism, and a sense of humour - there was a lower mortality rate.
 
Two psychologists, Dr Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr Michael McCullough of the University of Miami, have researched on gratitude:
·In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
·One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them.
·After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
 
Gratitude is the road to happiness
Gratitude creates positive emotions like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions like anxiety. Feeling and expressing gratitude turns our mental focus to the positive, which compensates for our brain’s natural tendency to focus on threats, worries, and negative aspects of life. It is certain that there is a direct link between happiness and gratitude. Expressing gratitude brings about happiness for the one giving thanks. The more someone is thankful or feels gratitude, the less there is time or room for negative thoughts.
 
One can inculcate the feeling of gratitude in many ways:
·Savour the joy you’re currently experiencing, which in turn lessens the dreariness of any negative going on at the time.
·The more you practice and express gratitude the more self-worth and self-esteem you feel, whether it’s thinking about what others do for you, or what you have done and it adds to your confidence.
·You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life
·Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you've received each day.
·People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
·Meditate: meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment.
 
Conclusion
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough” - Joy is an expression of happiness, satisfaction, content, thankfulness and freedom and gratitude is the quality of being ready to appreciate and being thankful for the same. Ideally, joy should be the simplest form of gratitude but practically we do not express joy as gratitude very easily. Factors like greed, jealousy, competition, ego, immaturity, selfishness are few of the villains in human life that do not let us express joy as gratitude easily. Humans have never been content and are always wanting for more. Gratitude always multiples when we receive it back. Remember thousand times in a day to be grateful for others for their love to us. Our happiness depends on the love of others in our life. We must return back the same love to others.



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