According to Psychology Today, “Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.”
Gratitude helps us see our situation in a way that can lessen panic and open up our thinking to new solutions. Gratitude takes mindfulness, and active participation. Unstuck gives 9 helpful tips on how to cultivate gratitude daily:
- Notice your day-to-day world from a point of gratitude and be amazed at all the goodness we take for granted.
- Keep a gratitude journal. All it requires is noting one or more things you are grateful for on a daily basis. No fancy notebook, no computer program required.
- If you identify something or someone with a negative trait (the cold conference room), switch it in your mind to a positive trait (the conference room with a great view).
- Gratitude requires humility, which the dictionary defines as being “modest and respectful.” Explore where it fits in your life.
- Give at least one compliment daily, whether directly to a person or by sharing your appreciation of something (“I love how quiet it is in the morning, don’t you?”).
- When you find yourself in a bad situation ask: What can I learn? When I look back on this, without emotion, what will I be grateful for?
- Vow to not complain, criticize, or gossip for a week. If you slip, rally your willpower and keep going. Notice how much energy you were spending on negative thoughts.
- Sound genuinely happy to hear from the people who call you on the phone. Whether they respond with surprise or delight, they’ll feel valued.
- Join a cause that’s important to you. Donate money, time, or talent. By getting involved, you’ll better appreciate the organization — and it will appreciate you more, too.
- Feel a sense of abundance in their lives
- Appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being
- Recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures
- Acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude (Happify)
Practice seeing the beauty in everyday life!
Blog Post By: Sarah Warner, M.S.