With the holiday season upon us, gratitude and showing thanks are at the top of our minds. Feelings of thankfulness and joy are in abundance, and many of us wish we could feel that way throughout the year, not just during the holidays. By developing an attitude of gratitude, it is possible for these feelings to last on an ongoing basis.
You can develop an attitude of gratitude by making it a habit to express appreciation and thankfulness on a regular basis. There are a variety of ways you can develop a grateful mindset. Pick a few ideas from this list and give them a try!
- Start your day by taking a few moments to think about what you are grateful for in your life.
- Try gratitude meditations – meditations that focus on expressing gratitude.
- At the end of the day, tell the person you are with three things you are most grateful for that day.
- Keep a gratitude journal – take time every day to write down three to five things that you feel grateful for that day.
- Express your gratitude to at least one person each day – be specific as you tell them what they did and why you appreciate it.
- Rather than comparing yourself to others, acknowledge what you have accomplished today. Give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing.
- Send a handwritten thank you note to someone.
- Start a gratitude jar to pay it forward. Keep a jar for spare change. When the jar is full, use the money to “pay it forward” – buy flowers for someone, pick up a few basic grocery items for your neighbor, pay for lunch for the person in line behind you, etc.
An attitude of gratitude has incredible power. It has a wide-reaching impact on our physical health, personal satisfaction, and social connectedness, including the following:
- Improved physical health
- Stronger immune system
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased energy
- Improved feelings of alertness, enthusiasm, and determination
- Improved psychological health
- Enhanced empathy and reduced aggression
- Improved self-esteem
- Reduced frequency or duration of episodes of depression
- Higher levels of positive emotions (more joy, happiness, and optimism)
- Stronger social relationships and fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Improved ability to be more generous, forgiving, and compassionate
- Improved ability to make progress in achieving goals
Developing an attitude of gratitude is a simple way to make big changes in your personal satisfaction and happiness. Give these tips a try and experience the power of a grateful mindset.
Looking for ideas for expressing gratitude in the workplace? Check out our article “Gratitude — A Powerful Workplace Motivator.”