Healing and Gratitude – Gateway to Happiness

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Healing and Gratitude
                                            Healing and Gratitude
As children, we learn how to show gratitude and appreciation. Parents teach us to say thank you when they buy us ice cream. You say thank you when you get new shoes or when you get a bike for Christmas. Thank you can go a long way. I still appreciate my mom for gifting me with my first doll in first grade. It was 5p.m. on a Sunday in the month of July. I remember the exact day and time. It was healing and gratitude rolled into one.

Gratitude Builds Connection Between Two People

Healing and gratitude are the bridge to a long-lasting bond between parents and children when times get tough. In fact, it strengthens the relationship between child and mom. It’s a feeling of thankfulness that washes over you when good things happen to you. After losing my brother, my dolls helped me during my grief and loss.

Early Childhood Gratitude for a Hand-me-down


Try to think back to your early childhood. Can you remember a time when your mom gave you your first doll or made one of your favorite meals (mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs or a delicious tuna sandwich?) You gave your mom a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.  That was gratitude in action. 

Vintage - Patti Playpal Dolls                Vintage- Playpal Doll

Gratitude is not about Monetary Value

It’s not the price of a doll that’s important, though. The thought of making a child happy is way more important. You can’t put a price on gratitude. Although it is intangible, gratitude is priceless. My inexpensive Patti Playpal doll was one of the most precious memories of my life. Thank you, mama, dear. You taught me how to be grateful for everything.

Contentment is the Offspring of Gratitude

Contentment is another branch of the gratitude tree that is worth mentioning. Are you satisfied with the things that you have? If so, you are in a very impressive state of mind. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people try to keep up with their neighbors. “Keeping up with the Joneses” can lead to bankruptcy. For instance, we try to wear the same Tommy Hilfiger clothes or try to get more likes on Facebook.  As a result, we end up unhappy and disappointed.

What Happens When We Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?

Ever wonder why there so many internal changes when you show gratitude? Let me explain this amazing process. During an attitude of gratitude, there is a chemical reaction in the brain. The Dopamine and Serotonin neurotransmitters fire off. This dynamic reaction, in turn, produces happiness and contentment. In essence, these neurotransmitters act as a natural antidepressant. A dose of gratitude can go a long way.

Ungratefulness Reduces Happiness

Ungratefulness is the opposite of thankfulness. It can, ultimately, impede our growth and development. Although we cannot always control everything around us, we can try to control HOW we respond to it. Ungratefulness leads to selfishness. At the end of the day, selfish people are the most unhappy people. Being thankful and grateful is a better route. 

Gratitude is the Social Glue 

John Templeton was one of the most successful pioneers of Global Value Investing. He graduated with honors from Yale University in 1934 at the top of his class. As a result, his foundation awards one of the largest cash prizes in the world. The John Templeton Foundation award exceeds the Nobel Peace Prize, which is over one million US dollars. Ironically, I have never heard of John Templeton until doing this post. It’s a small world after all. 

Gratitude is the Backbone of Society

John Templeton Foundation also has a newsletter called “Inspiring Awe & Wonder.”  One article, in particular, caught my eye. First it explains gratitude as the “social glue” that fortifies relationships. Second, it also found a correlation between gratitude and culture. Third, it stated that gratitude could keep friends, family, and romantic partners connected.  Finally, the article concluded that gratitude “serves as the backbone of human society.” Transcribed by a JTF protégé (trainee). https://www.templeton.org

How to Cultivate a Capacity for Contentment

What does contention to you? Take a guess. If you say that contentment is being grateful for the things you already have, you are absolutely right. It is a state of happiness and satisfaction. When you are truly content, you are not tempted to max out your credit card to get what somebody else has. Are you content with what you have, or do you follow the shop-till-you-drop crowd? To generate contentment, with an attitude of gratitude, practice a few of these:
  1. Celebrate minor accomplishments
  2. Be grateful for all the things that you
  3. Don’t dwell on things you wish you had
  4. Tell someone what you appreciate about them
  5. Hold the door for a stranger
  6. Volunteer for a cause dear to your heart
  7. Practice meditation and mindfulness
  8. Keep a gratitude journal
  9. When you practice gratefulness, you can have a peaceful sleep.

There are the Three Stages of Gratitude

The three stages of Gratitude are recognition, acknowledge and appreciation. Each stage is equally important. 


  • The first step is to recognize that you are going to be OK.
  • Realizing that in spite of struggles, you still have a life worth living.
  • You begin to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
  • Feeling grateful for the good things in your life.
  • Keeping a brief journal could be helpful.
  • Taking pride in a doll has its rewards in a long run


  • The second stage of expressing your gratitude.
  • By being consistent in acknowledging all people who made your life better.
  • Acknowledge that you have been blessed by good people.


  • Show appreciation and gratefulness to someone who did something nice for you.
  • When you openly express your gratitude to another person, an emotional bond is born.
  • Writing a letter of appreciation or making a phone call to them. Writing a Thank You note is also helpful.
  • Being appreciative of a doll.

For example:

  • Thank you so much for picking me up after my hair appointment”
  • “It was so nice of you inviting me over for lunch Betty”
  • ” I appreciate you lending me your car for the day”
  • “Thank you, mommy, for letting me have my doll”

An Attitude of Gratitude Makes a Difference

The Spirituality in Clinical Practice publishes hundreds of articles on gratitude. This is a quarterly journal published by the American Psychological Association. Their 2015 study showed that grateful people have healthier hearts. It also found that gratitude builds stronger relationships. Spirituality and gratitude go hand and hand.

Children can learn to be grateful for their toys. Teaching gratitude goes a long way.  Getting a secondhand doll can be life-changing for a child. As a result, an attitude of gratitude can make a world of difference and adds to your personal spirituality. For more information on this journal, check out https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/scp. 

Gratitude is Priceless

  1. Gratitude has been called “not only the best, but the parent of all other virtues” Marcus Tullius Cicero.
  2. Gratitude ignites a fire.
  3.  Gratitude builds strong social connections.
  4. It gives you a chance to increase happiness.
  5. Motivates moral behavior.
  6. Girls and women may feel more grateful than boys and men. 
  7. Boys and men, at least in the United States, associate gratitude with weakness or indebtedness.

The Find, Remind and Bind Theory of Gratitude

  • The science of gratitude stands on a foundation of “find, remind, and bind.”
  • Gratitude helps people find people who are good candidates to be in a solid relationship
  • It also helps remind people of the goodness of their existing relationship
  • Encouraging them to engage in behaviors that will help them bind (invest) and strengthen a relationship. Strengthening the relationship


The Art and Science of Gratitude

The instructions were to write down the name of the person who had influenced them the most. The proctor then asked them to elaborate on why. Next, each contestant called that person on the phone. When the callee answered, the caller told them why they were the most important person in their life.

All the participants showed a remarkable increase in their happiness. opposed to the ones that didn’t. Mission accomplished. This experiment showed that gratitude increases a person’s happiness levels 100 percent.

Philosophers and Sociologists who Researched the Idea of Gratitude

The modern research on Gratitude began with philosophers such as Seneca, Adam Smith, Tomas Aquinas, and David Hume, to name a few. Followed by sociologists Blau, 1964, Gouldner, 1960 and Algoe, 2012. 

The Benefits That Accompany Gratitude

Attitude affects every aspect of our lives. It replaces victim hood with joy. What a great exchange! There are many benefits that come from gratitude.

Happiness and gratitude can reduce anxiety and depression, lower heart rate and can reduce pain. They can also strengthen resilience. Can you think of other thinks that these emotions can do?

  1. Reduced blood pressure         
  2. Increased energy
  3. Promotes longevity
  4. Less chronic pain
  5. Boosts self-esteem
  6. Better sleep

Final Thoughts

 Gratitude is probably one of the most interesting topics, alongside meditation and mindfulness. They are a healthy three-some. The idea of gratitude has been around a long. In the English dictionary gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative and is associated with several mental and physical health benefits. 

Whether you choose to write a few sentences in a gratitude journal or simply take a moment to silently acknowledge all that you have, giving thanks can transform your life. It will continue to be the number one trait that will lead to a healthier, happier life experience. 

I am grateful that you spent this quality time with me and hope you will join me in the next blog. If you want more content related to this topic, send me an email or leave your questions and comments below. 

Vintage - Playpal Doll

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4 thoughts on “Healing and Gratitude – Gateway to Happiness”

  1. Hi Rachele,
    This is a great article on gratitude. I have only thought about gratitude in simple terms before, but reading the depth of insights in your article had left me with a greater understanding of the benefits of gratitude, stages of gratitude and why it is so important for society. It is also very important for our own health and well being. Great article and keep it up.

    • High John,

      I am elated that you found my article on gratitude inspiring. Comments like this motivates me to continue to provide relevant content as much as possible. Gratitude is such a wonderful quality to have. For one thing, it teaches us to never take anything or anyone for granted. We all have been blessed with an abundance of food, clothing, and all of our basic needs are met. We have clean water to drink and warm blankets to cover us at night. Our blessings are endless. I am so thankful for the ability to read and write and for eyes to see. I am grateful and I appreciate it all.


      Happy Holidays!

  2. Thanks so much for this lovely article on gratitude. It expresses the key to happiness in all areas of our lives. Our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is tied to this wonderful virtue. Your article is much appreciated with extreme gratitude.

    • Hi there, Joseph

      I want to express my sincere thankfulness for reading my article on healing and gratitude. I totally agree that gratitude positively affects all areas of our lives, even the biopsychosocial aspects as well. I, too, am extremely grateful for your input and generous feedback.

      Wishing a Joyous Happy Holiday!



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