As we make gratitude into a regular practice, we are more likely to notice all the good that is around us and adopt a more optimistic approach to life. Here are four ways to include gratitude in your life.
1. SAY ‘THANK YOU’
It’s one of the first things we teach our children because exchanging gratitude for an act of kindness makes everyone feel good that their effort is appreciated. While giving thanks is a daily occurrence, make one of your ‘thank yous’ resonate by telling a loved one how much their generous act meant to you.
2. KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
It’s the modern wellbeing must-do and if it’s done right, it can be transformative in opening our eyes to the beauty and good constantly around us. Author of The Gratitude Effect Dr John Demartini suggests trialling a daily journal, beginning, ‘Today, I had the opportunity to…’
Robert Emmons reminds us to focus on the details rather than a superficial list. If a daily journal feels cumbersome, research has shown a weekly journal entry can be just as beneficial as a daily practice, so think quality over quantity.
3. SHARE GRATITUDE WITH LOVED ONES
Choose a time where your family is together, such as breakfast or dinner, and go around the table sharing things you’re grateful for and why. Children learn by example, so watching you take the lead and share what you’re grateful for will help them look for something similar in their own evolving worlds.
4. WRITE A NOTE
Martin Seligman researched the effects of writing a 300-word letter thanking someone and found up to three months later, people were happier and less depressed as a result of this proper ‘thanks’. Muirhead suggests that even a post-it note to a colleague thanking them for something specific can strengthen work relationships and make a big difference to workplace culture.