I’ve been exploring the importance of feeling and expressing more gratitude in our lives. Scientists are discovering how an attitude of gratitude is essential for health, relationships, and both emotional and physical wellbeing.
But how can we grow more feelings of gratitude and express it more often? Dr. Alison Chen, a naturopathic doctor, writes in a recent Huffington Post article that creating a nightly gratitude ritual is a powerful strategy. She suggests taking a few minutes at the end of each day to stop and reflect as a great way to bring about more feelings of gratitude in your life.
Chen’s other suggestions include:
- Write thank-you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
- Engage in nonverbal actions: This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.
- Mind your ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’s’: While it’s easy to say words like please and thank you in passing, these courtesies can become potent acknowledgments of gratitude when combined with eye contact and sincerity.
Expressing thanks during moments of reflection is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. You can sit quietly and focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a memory. This is often hard in the midst of stress and tragedies, but it can build a path out of negativity.
Take a couple minutes each day to stop and reflect. Taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if we do this through silent meditation, or in conversation with others, such as a coach or a trusted friend.
What are you doing to pay attention to this key emotion and to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? I’d also like to take this time to wish all my readers and clients the best of everything they wish with a great big “Thank you!”