The Three Stages of Gratitude

Kathline Colvin, Ph.D.6 Comments

Three Stages Of Gratitude

Three Stages Of GratitudeSince we now know that practicing Gratitude can actually improve our health, let’s consider the three stages of gratitude and how we can experience each stage and benefit from its rewards. First – Feeling grateful for the good things in your life; Second – Expressing your gratitude to the people who have made your life better; and Third – Adopting new behaviors as a result of interacting with those who have helped you. Deepak Chopra has described the health benefits of practicing gratitude:

All of us have experienced the first stage — we have felt grateful that something good has happened, often in the context of escaping a threat like a disease diagnosis that turns out to be a false alarm. To make this feeling more than a passing moment, you need to make the “attitude of gratitude” more continuous. Keeping a brief journal is all it takes to trigger the health benefits of gratitude—a good start for anyone.

Stage 2 is more challenging. It’s hard to reach out to someone else, especially because many people think that opening up and expressing your appreciation makes you more vulnerable. It’s easier to stay inside your shell. But when you express gratitude to someone else, an emotional bond is formed, and emotional bonding is one of the key traits of truly happy people. Some of the earliest mind-body studies showed how loneliness and isolation—the very opposite of bonding with others—led to decreased health and a higher risk of mortality. Now it’s time to reverse our focus and emphasize the positive side of the equation, putting emotional bonding high on the list of self-care.

Stage 3 is the most powerful because it changes people’s futures. When your gratitude leads to showing more sympathy, less judgment, and greater appreciation for life itself, you are setting the stage for years of positive reinforcement. By adopting gratitude as your default position, so to speak, you tell your brain that positive input is going to far outweigh negative input. Mixed signals lead to mixed results. By being consistent in your attitude of gratitude, you set down a blueprint that over time leads to brain changes with farseeing benefits.
Clearly, the way of gratitude is one of the most natural paths to wholeness because body, mind, and spirit are affected at every level almost effortlessly; give it a try.

6 Comments on “The Three Stages of Gratitude”

  1. Pingback: 9 Powerful Ways Gratitude Can Improve Your Life Right Now

  2. I am great full to God for giving me life and good health with Longevity. Thankful to God for his protection over my life, my children and grandchildren. Amen

  3. I am grateful for my amazing journey in this life. I am grateful for my loving, intellectual beautiful Son, who radiates a reflection of me wherever he goes. I am grateful for the special one who stayed loyal to me, when he had every reason to run and did what he felt was right in his heart and didn’t turn his back on me. I’m so appreciative for that, you will never know. You made me stronger that day…. You will never know how much that meant to me and it always will. Thank you FATHER for blessing me with these beautiful HUMANS!!! Xoxo

  4. I am extremely grateful for everything! I became ill over Christmas last year and spent 24 days in the hospital. I had several surgical procedures and 1 major surgery. I am fully recovered now, and every day I give thanks for my life. I am back to working for a company and with a Team that I love. I get to see my children every day, hug them, and tell them how much I love them. There is so much to be thankful for and there is so much good left in this world. People need to focus on that instead of all this hate and violence. Love is all we need.

  5. I’m grateful for the gift of life, my children, and God on my side. I’m grateful for the people that care about me, pray for me and show me concern.

Leave a Reply