Is gratitude an emotion

Gratitude - activate the strongest positive feeling

On a talk show I heard a woman getting upset: “Why should I be grateful to my health insurance company for paying me the medical costs? After all, I pay something there and they just do their job. ”I think about this statement for a long time. Something about it bothers me. "Gratitude is a disease that dogs suffer from," says Josef Stalin disparagingly. Its destructiveness is well known - there is simply no place for gratitude. In fact, our dealings with gratitude are ambiguous. Some avoid gratitude because they believe that it means full approval of something. Because what can not always be better?

It is astonishing that psychology has only been concerned with the feeling of gratitude with noteworthy contributions since around the year 2000. Traditionally, psychology has been more concerned with negative emotions. Investigations into the effects of gratitude were only made in positive psychology.
Robert Emmons is one of the few gratitude researchers. In his book “Vom Glück, dankbar zu sein”, published in 2009 by Campus-Verlag, he describes numerous studies and gives tips for everyday life. An important tip is to keep a gratitude journal. At least once a week you should sit down and write down everything you are grateful for.
It is scientifically proven that driving a Gratitude diary has a positive effect on depression and anxiety disorders, restful sleep, life satisfaction, patience, motivation, self-esteem, constructive problem solving and relationships. Ingratitude and dissatisfaction are correlated - as are gratitude and satisfaction. Piet van Breemen said: "You cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time."

What is gratitude anyway?
Is it an empty phrase? Is it a feeling or an attitude? Or an attitude that triggers a feeling in us? Even science disagrees on this.
Strange that we have to teach children to thank. Isn't it a natural reaction? Children have their own way of giving thanks. You don't know any empty phrases. Socially recognized gratitude - that's what we teach you. What we cannot teach them is the glow in their eyes when they are given or allowed to do something they like. This is their way of thanking. This is the most effective aspect of gratitude: a feeling that floods our whole body.
No wonder that Cicero calls gratitude not only the greatest of all virtues, but also the mother of all others.

Gratitude - A Matter of Wealth or Life?
Yes, many people feel gratitude for what they have. At the same time, there are people who have a lot and are still not grateful. I am embarrassed when I hear Germans being aggressive, derogatory and insulting about the country, the politicians, the society and the economy. Of course, many things can be better in our country and not everything is yellow. “Hey”, I would like to call out to them, “take a look around the world. How much wealth, security, peace, rule of law and opportunity do you enjoy here? Where else can you get that for you? That is why others even want to flee here. Why aren't you grateful first of all for what you have here? Then you can start to improve if you have the heart to do it. "
On my travels to the third world, I was always fascinated by theGratitude from ordinary people who have almost nothing. Yes, even in this situation I saw extremely happy faces in all age groups. Look how proud and grateful this Peruvian girl is that I marvel at her finger puppets?

Gratitude as free medicine
Every emotion that we feel floods us and changes the chemical-electrical soup in which our cells swim. A relatively new branch of research, epigenetics, has found that nutritional chemical-electrical soup made through emotions and thoughts is so powerful that it can turn healthy or diseased genes on or off. Stress releases information of tension into our blood and cells. The feeling of gratitude triggers a healing firework of neurotransmitters in the body, in which our cells can bathe and regenerate.

It all comes down to feeling
Gratitude as a phrase - nice. Gratitude as debt redemption "If you give me a bottle of wine, I'll give you something of the same value" (instead of a healthy balance between give and take) - exhausting. Gratitude as a feeling - terrific. When we kinesiologically test the feeling of gratitude, it shows up as the feeling with the strongest positive charge.

How do we cerebral western people get that feeling? How can we activate it even if we don't feel like it at all?
I have developed a practical exercise for this. Send me a comment on this blog by email to contact (at) In recognition of this, I am emailing you this exercise.

Repeatedly express gratitude to others - and say what exactly. Perhaps you will leave a "thank you card" at the hotel - or at a colleague's workplace - or at the breakfast table for your partner?

You can order the “thank you card” shown above in many languages ​​from me - 10 pieces for € 9.90 including postage.

There is an old saying that whatever we feel thankful for increases.
Or as Ernst Ferstl put it: "For grateful people, happiness likes to work overtime."