Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of physical, psychological & social benefits. These range from a stronger immune system and lower blood pressure to more pleasure, optimism, happiness, compassion and less feelings of loneliness.
So, how can we cultivate an attitude of gratitude? Here’s some tips to get you started:
Create a Gratitude Journal
The first step in your gratitude journey should be to create a gratitude journal and write in it at least a few times each week (for even better results, write in it every night before bed). It doesn’t have to be a lot of writing, just a list of 5 things that you are grateful for from the day. This should include not only momentous events but the seemingly small moments of affection such as receiving a lovely text message from a friend or family member, or a smile from your barista. Whilst they might not seem as significant as say a promotion, by actively acknowledging those who help make your day brighter you become better at recognizing the good in your life. In time, you naturally start to feel more grateful, more often.
Say thanks or pay a compliment
Use thank you notes or verbal praise and not just when someone goes above and beyond. Small acts of kindness should be recognized too.
Take time to smell the roses
Teach yourself to stop what you’re doing a couple of times each day and view your day-to-day world from a point of gratitude. By looking outside, rather than focusing within, you’ll be surprised at the small yet significant things you notice.
Challenge yourself to remove negative energy
Set a challenge to try and not complain, criticize or gossip for ome week. At the end of the week reflect on the amount of negative energy you saved.
You can also find lots of fun gratitude activities on Happify, an online platform whose goal is to improve your mood and general outlook. Thanks Happify!