Last week we discussed appreciation and how it’s different than gratitude.
Today You’ll Learn:
- ALL things gratitude including:
- Its history
- The 4 reasons why it’s good
- My top tips for being a gratitude ninja
What is Gratitude?
Eminent gratitude expert, Dr. Robert Emmons, from the University of California at Davis, says that it has two key components:
- It’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.
- We then recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves… We acknowledge that other people (or even a higher power) gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.
Four reasons why gratitude is good:
- Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present, and so it magnifies positive emotions.
- Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions (like resentment, helplessness, and regret which can destroy our happiness).
- Grateful people are more stress resistant.
- Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth.
GRATITUDE IS A GATEWAY DRUG!
If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know I say that a happy and fulfilling life is all about getting better at certain skills. Effective listening, confidence and happiness are all skills. When you get better at these skills, you become a better communicator.
This is true for gratitude. Gratitude is a skill and, better yet, it’s a gateway skill. When you get good at it, you also get better at skills such as compassion and forgiveness.
Here are some top tips and general ideas for practicing gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Count your blessings every am and pm.
- Have concrete reminders to practice gratitude like a gratitude jar for change that you can then donate.
- Gratitude for what you give versus receive.
- Remember the bad: remember the hard times you once experienced. Remember how difficult life used to be and how far you’ve come.
- Learn prayers of gratitude.
- Use visual reminders: the two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness, visual reminders can serve as cues to trigger gratitude.
- Watch your language: grateful people have a particular linguistic style that uses the language of gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance.
Resources and Links:
If you’re going to read one book on gratitude, make it Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons.