I have probably read 100 books on gratitude and the one resounding consensus is that feeling thankful is good for you!
Benefits of Gratitude.
It contributes to feelings of increased well being and reduces depressed feelings and anxiety. In addition to assisting us in our journey to find happiness, it also promotes forgiveness. Being more generous and compassionate, and approaching our daily life with an increased level of optimism and even joy, produces higher levels of positive emotions, satisfaction, even feelings of hope which have a real and measureable affect on our physical self, producing stronger immune systems, increased energy and lower blood pressure. And even better, these effects have been shown to continue after you have participated in your daily gratitude exercises.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is the outward affirmation that the world is good and it is a personal acknowledgement of a "greater good" that exists outside of ourselves. But it requires us to pay attention to life and all the things going on around us. Moreover, it requires us to take the time to notice and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. In this exercise, we are actively noticing, every day, things we are grateful for and continually revamping our thoughts along the way.
Tools to Track Gratitude.
Luckily, the tools needed to track gratitude can be as simple as a piece of paper and a pen or as elaborate as your creative mind can dream up. The key here is creating strategies that are real and reproducible on a regular basis by you. Need some other ideas on tools to cultivate and track gratitude? Here are some popular options:
• Daily reminders to actively practice gratitude
• Begin and end your day with gratitude
• Make it an active part of your nightly dinners with family
• Thank you notes
• Intentional reflection and contemplations
• Consider why you are grateful not just the what
• Use a small object or token as a gratitude reminder
Wondering How You Can Show Gratitude?
• Verbally acknowledge or compliment a good work by someone
• Call or email 5 people close to you who you have not spoken to in a while
• Leave a larger than normal tip
• Be an active listener
• Do a random act of kindness (order my Kelli Cards for free at www.Kelligar.com)
• Buy a random stranger a cup of coffee
• Share a smile with everyone you meet
• Hold the door open for someone
• Place any denomination of cash tightly into the fold of a library book when you return it
These tasks and exercises work because they are cultivating gratitude and are self-perpetuating. But they have to speak and work for you, so be real to the types of tools you choose to assist you in your tracking of gratitude. And remember, the more you practice gratitude, the more aware you become of it in your every day life.
With that, I would like to say I am grateful you chose to spend your time here with me today! Thank you!