The words “Thank you” have a strong emotional component, often used to express the special feeling that Aesop describes as the virtue of noble souls, namely, gratitude.
Unfortunately, we often notice in contemporary society the negative effects of showing less and less gratitude or of its total absence in our lives.
But from a scientific point of view, we have all the reasons to reconsider the great importance of gratitude and how it contributes, to a great extent, to the improvement of our social life and to our general well-being.
Scientists, psychologists, philosophers and theologians, all state that gratitude is an essential element to a happy and longer life, by default.
A study carried out by the Davis University in California showed that grateful people have increased levels of positive emotions, satisfaction in life, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. Following the same idea, the Association of American Psychologists has also initiated a study to show that patients suffering from asymptomatic heart failure who kept a gratitude journal, have registered a significant decrease of inflammation, as well as an improvement of heart health. More than 180 people, men and women, took part in this study and each of them had to keep a gratitude journal for at least eight weeks. The researchers discovered that those who regularly filled in their diaries had decreased the circulation on inflammatory biomarkers and the heart functions got improved. "It seems that a grateful heart is indeed a healthier heart and the gratitude journals are an easy way to support heart’s health", stated Paul J. Mills, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California.
Moreover, gratitude helps to protect romantic relationships from separation or divorce. "Even if a couple frequently deals with stress and difficulties in other fields, gratitude in a relationship can contribute to an increase in positive marriage results”, Allen Barton said, researcher at the UGA Centre for Families research.
All these studies make us definitively declare that, for a healthy life, it is recommended to say “THANK YOU” more than once a day.
The Bible also has many references to gratitude. We should remember every day that we have a Creator and a God who sacrificed Himself for our freedom. These reasons alone are enough to make us realize how privileged we are. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5, 16-18).
Don’t forget to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).