The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been around for many years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, better health, peak performance in sports and business and a higher sense of well-being.
So, if everyone acknowledges gratitude’s many benefits, why is it so difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a “Thanksgiving” or greeting card word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, and create a new habit. which can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we shift our perspective by giving ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. It helps balances us and gives us hope. Here is a list I recently found of some ways to begin a practice of gratitude.
Tips to Practice Gratitude
- Keep a journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Keeping your journal where you can see to remind you to think in a grateful way.
- Make a collage by drawing or pasting pictures of things you are thankful for.
- Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
- Make a game of finding the silver lining in a challenging situation.
- When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
- Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be thrilled to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling.
Having a sense of more fulfillment in your days is gratitude at work.
Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications