Gratitude – The Secret Ingredient

Gratitude - the secret ingredient

There are better and worse days, we all know that. There are moments or phases when we don’t have a clear goal in mind, when we are burdened with too many doubts, or when we feel emotionally inactive or disappointed. In such situations it can happen that we look for great solutions in search of happiness or personal stability.

It has been proven that in order to achieve this we need a number of different things inside and around us. It’s not an easy way. You have to work on happiness.

One way to take this path, or to continue on it if we are already on it, can be to use a very useful and very enriching ingredient that we often forget: gratitude.

When did we stop thanking? How many times have we not thanked out of shame, fear of other people’s opinions, or ignorance?

We become aware of the power of words. Getting the moment, tone and emphasis, place and honesty is important. We don’t always choose well, and we don’t always hit the mark, despite our best of intentions.

“The joy you experience when you meet someone who is grateful is so great that it is worthwhile trying not to be ungrateful.”


Have we ever thought about thanking them in a special way? Why didn’t we do it? Is saying thank you the same as saying thank you?

Word thank you written on the beach

Five letters

“Thanks.” Five well-coordinated letters that have the gift of sitting at the two extreme ends of emotionality. On the one hand the automatic formalism, and on the other hand the most strongly felt meaning.

We distribute thanks to the right and left. We almost give them away, daily and also to strangers. We have been trained in formal appreciation of the social norm. “Thank you for coming.” – “Thank you for participating.” – Thank you for the meal. ”-“ Thank you for the invitation. ”   All of this felt more or less formal and more or less real.

Usually we give thanks in order to communicate in society. This opens doors for us, creates closeness to others and promotes our integration into the group. But there are other ways of giving thanks. The ones we use less often. That takes place between parents, friends, family members or special people in our lives.

There we can speak of a grateful disposition.

What is hidden behind thanking

We are not talking about formalism and automatism. We are also not talking about thanking people who need our recognition for their work.

We talk about taking a look at the environment or the past and identifying the person who helped us without expecting an answer. Often, perhaps without intention and without knowing it, but he did it.

The sports coach who taught us to look beyond balls, hurdles and tables. The teacher through whom we came to love books, historical subjects or mathematics. The family member with whom we spent the best summer holidays of our lives, whom we remember with fondness.

“Silent gratitude is of no use to anyone.”

GB star

Thanking means having access to one’s own emotion and sharing it with the person who consciously or unconsciously caused our condition.

Thanking helps us:

  • Freeing held back feelings and achieving inner peace.
  • Letting go of the idea of ​​taking care of unfinished business: “I would have liked to thank him …”
  • Build our self-esteem .
  • Strengthen our social bonds
  • Fighting bad moments and negative emotions.

Secret ingredient? – Yes! Scientifically proven? – As well!

Martin Seligmann is a recognized psychologist. He is the initiator of positive psychology, which is devoted to the scientific research into positive emotions and human characteristics. Together with Peterson, he developed a questionnaire that collected and classified the strengths and virtues for achieving a better quality of life. In doing so, they not only rely on current studies, but also consulted old philosophies and texts from distant cultures and religions on all continents. In all this material they looked for common elements.

One of the general categories called “transcendence” – which collects the strengths that give our life meaning and connect us with our surroundings and the universal emotions – includes gratitude or gratitude. There transcendence is defined as “being aware of and thanking for the good things that happen to you as well as the ability to give thanks”.

Woman thanks sunrise

Activate your gratitude

There are tons of obstacles that don’t make us thank you. Starting with the fear of other people’s opinions, the feeling that the right moment has already passed, a feeling of pride and arrogance that makes us doubt in certain situations, the worry that our feelings will not be reciprocated in the same way, or the shyness .

But the effect is so positive that we shouldn’t hesitate to implement it when we think about it. Before we can already practice this by all that out, for which we can be grateful.

My recommendations?

  • Daily, or at least once a week, we should look at the things for which we are grateful. This helps us to think about and appreciate the actions, situations or people that bring calm and positivity into our everyday life.

And especially:

  • Write a letter to someone in your past whom you want to thank for something. It doesn’t have to be something outstanding in the eyes of others. One can also thank for routine processes, attention, gestures, events, discoveries and the like.
    Think of someone, take your time, organize what you want to express and compose it. You can choose how you want to get it to him. Whether you give it to him or read it to him. My recommendation? It is a wonderful experience to read it out loud and talk about it.

Beyond the five letters there is experience and emotion. Discover the best form for yourself, and receive and enjoy gratitude. You will surely feel rewarded and will find your place and your identity again.

Sharing this quietly helps you connect with your positive emotions and add another stone to your path to happiness.

“Gratitude is the only secret that does not reveal itself through itself.”

Emily Dickinson

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