Would you say you’re a grateful person?
Just think about that for a moment.
What does it mean to be grateful? To not only be grateful in theory, but in practise as well?
Let’s start with what gratitude actually means, being the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. That is, by showing thankfulness, showing appreciation and recognising the good in our lives it will result in being a grateful person, thereby leading to a happier and healthier life.
Practising gratitude is not hard, or time consuming. It’s just that we’re programmed to look at the negatives, obsess on the little things and focus on OUR picture, not the big picture. Expressing gratitude changes this. You connect with yourself, you connect with others and you connect with the ‘bigger picture’, whatever that may be.
Some people apply gratitude to their past – positive memories and thankful opportunities. Others choose to apply gratitude in the present – living in the moment and ceasing opportunities. Then others apply gratitude to the future – remaining hopeful and optimistic.
However you choose to apply gratitude, it results in an overwhelming amount of benefits to your life:
- You feel more satisfied
- You motivate others
- You’re happier
- You’re more resilient
- You deepen your social ties
- You have better health
- You increase your self-control
- Your relationships improve
- You’re less materialistic
- You enrich your children
So how do you turn your theory on gratitude into practise?
- Start a gratitude journal – and write something you are grateful for every day
- Stop and thank – just take a minute when it all gets too much to thank yourself and remember how lucky you really are
- Reminisce on the week – at the end of each week, write down the events, moments and people you are grateful for
- Practice mindfulness meditation – learn to stay present in the moment and cherish every second
- Share, share, share – if you’re grateful for something, share it. If you’re grateful for someone, tell them. Recognise yourself, your experiences, your family and your friends.
As Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy once said, “If thankfulness were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system”
Practise gratitude, you’ll be thankful you did.