Practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to boost happiness and improve overall wellbeing.
Gratitude has been scientifically proven to increase happiness and fulfilment. Being grateful means focusing on what you have instead of zeroing in on what you lack. It is the act of showing appreciation and returning kindness. Although the concept seems simple, many of us are not used to practicing gratefulness. It’s not a personality flaw, it’s because society does not teach us how to be grateful. Marketing and advertising campaigns are constantly telling us we need more, messages at work and school are always telling us to be better, do better, reach for more. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, taking the time to stop and be grateful for what you already have is incredibly powerful.
Positive psychology endorses gratitude as a way to boost happiness, enjoy good experiences, improve health, better deal with adversity and build strong relationships.
Here are 5 ways you can begin to practice gratitude.
5 Methods For Practicing Gratitude
1. Write thank you notes
Thank you notes are a simple and hugely effective way of showing gratitude. They boost your happiness as well as the happiness of the recipient. A study published in June 2018 in Psychological Science revealed that while the writers of thank you notes felt that their gesture might create a feeling of awkwardness, the recipient of the note was more likely to feel not only happy but “ecstatic”. Zero awkwardness.
So while it may feel strange to write a thank you note, don’t let that stop you! You will more than likely make someone’s day. In the workplace, thank you notes, emails or announcements can have a hugely positive impact on morale and productivity.
Employment Hero for instance, has worked thank you notes into the HR system, making it easy for employees to thank each other. Shout Outs, is a dashboard within the platform that allows staff to write quick notes of gratitude to those who have helped them throughout the work day. Other staff can react to these announcements with emojis. This feature is used extensively in-house and has become an integral part of company culture.
2. Keep a gratitude journal
There are a few different ways you can approach gratitude journals but the basic tenet is simple, write down what you are grateful for each day. While big wins are always nice, the things you are grateful for could be as small as a smile received by a stranger, a hot meal, a working shower. In fact, the small things are perhaps the most important to record. We often take these things for granted yet should they disappear, day-to-day life would be very different.
One strategy for working gratitude into your routine is to pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings. Reflect on what went right or what you are grateful for. It is also a great way to keep track of and refer back to all the positives at different times in your life.
3. Connect with nature
Keeping contact with nature is also an amazing way to practice gratitude. It’s also scientifically proven to have numerous health benefits. Take a walk and think about the ways nature helps us to sustain life. Be grateful for the fresh air, the natural beauty of animals and the peace of oceans.
Gratitude meditation involves focusing on the present moment and focusing on that which you are grateful for. It’s a relaxing and powerful way to focus on what is positive in your life. Click here to read a comprehensive guide on gratitude meditation.
5. Search for gratitude in your challenges
Being thankful during negative or difficult situations is just as important as being thankful during the positive times. In fact, it is usually times like this that can help us identify the positives in our life that we are most thankful for. Think back to past experiences that you have overcome and how it has strengthened you into the person you are today.