How to put gratitude into action – it will change your life forever
The advantages of cultivating thankfulness are practically limitless. People who frequently practice gratitude by taking time to observe and reflect on the things they’re grateful for feel more alive, sleep better, exhibit more compassion and generosity, and even have stronger immune systems.
Thankfulness does not have to be limited to special occasions: Sure, you could be grateful for a job advancement, but you can also be grateful for something as simple as a nice slice of pie!
According to Dr. Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the Latest Science of Gratitude Can Bring You Happiness, merely maintaining a gratitude journal—writing brief observations on situations for which we’re thankful on a regular basis—can considerably boost well being and life satisfaction. Give it a try and see how you feel!
You’d assume that any one of these results would be convincing enough to inspire an adolescent to act.
But, if you’re anything like me, this drive only lasts about three days until writing in my thankfulness diary every evening takes a back seat to watching stand-up comedy on Netflix.
Here are a few principles I’ve discovered—and science backs up—that might help you not only establish a thankfulness practice, but also keep it going for the long term.
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Say Thank You and Be Aware
The greatest approach to reap the advantages of thankfulness is to be mindful of new things and to be thankful for everyday, no matter big or small.
Gratitude journaling works because it gradually transforms our perceptions of things by shifting what we focus on. While you may always be glad for your wonderful family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week will not keep your brain on the lookout for new thankful moments.
Write something specific, such as “Today, my spouse offered me a shoulder rub since he knew I was anxious” or “My sister asked me over for dinner so I wouldn’t have to prepare after a hard day.”
And don’t be afraid to go beyond the fantastic stuff right in front of you.
Increasing your awareness of the surrounding environment may greatly improve your thankfulness practice.
Get Serious About Your Gratitude Practice
Being ecstatic about the advantages of thankfulness may be a wonderful thing because it offers us the impetus we need to begin making changes.
However, if our enthusiasm about sleeping better as a result of our newfound thankfulness prevents us from anticipating how fatigued we’ll be tomorrow night when we try to write, we’re likely to fumble and lose momentum.
When we want to attain a goal, utilizing the strategy of mental contrasting—being positive about the advantages of a new habit but simultaneously being realistic about how tough it may be to create the habit—causes us to expend more effort. Recognize and arrange for potential roadblocks.
For example, if you are tired at night, realize that it may not be the greatest time to focus for a few more minutes and plan your appreciation in the morning instead.
Once you practice gratitude often, it will turn around your attitude to being more relieved or less stressed. You can see the potential in your life, realise exactly all that you have and carry a positive approach to yourself and your surroundings.
Make Gratefulness More Exciting by Mixing It Up
Edward Deci and Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester research intrinsic motivation, which is the deep drive from inside to persevere on a task. One of the most important characteristics is autonomy, or the capacity to do things our way.
So, instead of limiting yourself, try finding new and innovative ways to chronicle your grateful moments if writing has become old. One year, I decided to make a thankfulness jar!
When I had a heartfelt moment of thankfulness, I wrote it down on a bit of piece of paper and stored it in my thankfulness jar.
I emptied the jar and then went through all that I wrote on New Year’s Eve which showered me with delight. When something positive happens, I now say, “That’s one for the appreciation jar!” – It immediately elevates the significance of the occasion and keeps me on the hunt for more.
The point is that expressing your gratitude comes in many ways, so mix it up and feel yourself coming alive, a bit more:)
Make Your Gratitude Practice Public
Our interactions with others are the most important predictors of our pleasure. As we grow our thankfulness, it makes sense to consider others. According to Robert Emmons, concentrating our thankfulness on individuals rather than situations or material goods can increase the rewards we receive.
And, while you’re doing it, why not directly include others in your display of gratitude?
You might send a letter of thanks to someone who has had an influence on you but has never been properly recognized. You might also discuss the grateful moments of the day around the dinner table. You can comment on a blog that you find meaningful to you and simply show your appreciation.
The subsequent interactions may provide you with even more reasons to be thankful!
“Gratitude is riches, Complaint is poverty,” – Christian Science Hymnal.
Feeling grateful or in tune with yourself can open a whole new world of opportunities, letting go of mistakes that we can’t undo and to enjoy each and every moment that we face.
“Gratitude is one of the most neglected emotions and one of the most underestimated of the virtues,” – Edward C. Solomon
Feeling grateful can help you to avoid stress which is a silent killer, be able to handle ‘difficult’ situations with more ease and avoid high blood pressure and/or some symptoms in relation to the heart.
Thank you for reading and if you do have nay comments or questions, please leave below and I’ll be sure to help you out.