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Gratitude – A Superpower To Discover At Any Age

Gratitude – A Superpower To Discover At Any Age

By George Jerjian

What would you say if I told you there was a feeling, which you already know how to feel, that once you are able to harness, could change everything?

And what if I told you that this feeling just has to be felt, and it becomes a superpower that you can use to make your life better in more ways than you could imagine?

If that sounds too good to be true, bear with me, and I will explain – firstly, by going back in time. Because this emotion that I’m talking about is nothing new.

It’s gratitude.

That’s right, being grateful for something, or someone – feeling thankful for what life has served up for you. And the power of this feeling is far from a trend, or a new fashion.

In fact, Roman statesman, orator, lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-36 BC), said;

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all the virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

He was onto something, two thousand years ago. And he wasn’t the only one. World religions, who generally agree on very little, also agree on this. Let’s explore a few of them.

Gratitude holds a very high place in the Hindu tradition. There are two facets to it: first, that we must be grateful for everything that we get, but secondly that we must not expect any gratitude from others.

In Judaism, the very word “Jew” comes from the tribe of Judah, and Judah’s name is derived from Yehudah, which means “thanksgiving.” In Judaism, gratitude is not a one-time event: it is continuous and has no expiry date.

In Buddism, gratitude is to be cultivated as a habit or attitude of mind. It softens a hardened heart, builds capacity for forgiveness, which creates clarity of mind for spiritual growth.

And the word Eucharist in Christianity derives from the Greek word Evkharistia means “Thanksgiving.” Christian gratitude is regarded as a virtue that shapes not only emotions and thoughts but also actions and deeds.

Finally in the Islamic faith, Shukr, denoting thankfulness or gratitude, is a highly esteemed virtue in Islam, while prayer, one of the pillars of Islam, is incomplete without Surah-al-Fatihah – an expression of gratitude for countless blessings.

So the fact is, the power of this one emotion has not just been known for millennia, it has been taught by the great religions of the world. But, unlike many doctrines, it is consistent across them all.

So how does it work?

According to Dr Joe Dispenza, author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, “when you are in a state of gratitude, you transmit a signal into the field that an event has already occurred. Gratitude is more than just an intellectual thought process. You have to feel as though whatever you want is in your reality at this very moment. Thus, your body (which only understands feelings) must be convinced that it has the emotional quotient of the future experience, happening to you now.

So what happens is that gratitude allows you to celebrate the present, magnifying what you already have so as to extract more benefit from it, and in turn, block negative emotions.

The benefits of gratitude are manifold.

You will experience higher levels of positive emotions, be more alert, alive, and awake, feel more joy and pleasure and have more optimism. These psychological benefits then impact on your social interactions: you might find yourself being more helpful, generous, and compassionate, more outgoing – and feel less lonely and isolated.

And all this has a knock-on effect to your physical being: a stronger immune system, better sleep, and a desire to exercise more and take better care of your health, which can mean you are less bothered by illness or aches and pains.

When it comes to later life, I teach my clients that if you are in a grateful state of mind, you are open to new possibilities, and you are welcoming in better health, both physical and mental.

At a time in your life when you might have thought you’d be familiar with any superpowers, isn’t it wonderful to find out you have one you didn’t know about?

George Jerjian is an original ‘Retirement Rebel’, a mindset mentor whose passion and purpose is to help retiring baby-boomers: the generation that coaching often overlooks. You can connect with George through his website: Retirement Rebellion.

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