Recent studies in positive psychology show gratitude to be consistently associated with greater happiness. What exactly is gratitude? Gratitude is a feeling of joy that comes from appreciation.
When we practice gratitude on a daily basis, we begin to concentrate on the positive and avoid dwelling on the negative aspects of life. Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”, shows practiced gratitude helps us feel more positive, increases our resilience, and life appreciation and can significantly improve our health, well-being, and life satisfaction. It all seems so simple, but the practice of daily gratitude requires commitment and the desire to adopt change.
Let’s look at some ways to cultivate daily gratitude practice to help us successfully reach a higher level of gratefulness.
Journaling – jotting down two to three gratitudes each day will help reinforce your practice. Time – take a few minutes each morning as you wake or each evening before you sleep and list as many gratitudes as you can.
Express your gratitude – write a letter of appreciation to someone who had a beneficial influence on you recently or in the past. A phone call works as well.
Mental Thank You – no time to write? Think about someone who has recently made you smile or extended a kindness and mentally thank them.
Refresh – notice new things to be grateful for every day. This will help strengthen your resolve to focus on the positive.
Meditate – mindfulness meditations helps you concentrate on the present moment without judgment, this is the perfect time to focus on, your gratitudes.
When we practice daily gratitude, we give ourselves a chance to alter our perspectives and concentrate on the positive. A positive attitude promotes health, happiness, and contentment. Why not give it a try?
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