We are the only animal on the planet that can experience gratitude, so exercise this unique gift by making it a habit”. – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
One of the healthiest most life-affirming habits is practicing gratitude. Research affirms grateful people tend to be healthier and happier, cope easier with adversity and sleep better. Even in the center of a crisis, grateful people tend to be more resilient, experience greater peace and are more satisfied with life. The partners of grateful people also benefit, because research indicates they report greater relationship satisfaction. How do you want to show up for your family, friends, and co-workers? With a mindset of hope and gratitude or fear and despair? In high-stress times, staying hopeful can be more difficult, but not impossible. Focus on the things that bring you joy, share time with like-minded people, practice self-care and be more mindful and present in the moment. Try and steer your thoughts in the direction of abundance and gratitude, a destination we could all use a little bit more of in these uncertain times. The great Roman statesman, Cicero, called gratitude, not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of them all. What do you think?
Consider practicing the 10 below habits to cultivate more gratitude. One of the greatest minds in western history, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, argued that we become what we habitually do. By changing our habits, we can become more thankful human beings.
Take a walk in nature and wake up your senses. Notice all the beautiful sights, sounds and smells. Consider going barefoot and feel the earth under your feet. Afterward, pause, take some deep breaths and notice how you feel.
Keep a gratitude journal and consider starting by logging your thoughts for a week.
Start a gratitude list, by write all the things in which you are grateful for 3 minutes straight without stopping. Pull the list out when you need a “gratitude” adjustment
Create a gratitude circle with like-minded people and discuss what you are grateful for once a week.
Send a gratitude letter or email to someone telling them how much you appreciate them.
Put your hands on your own heart and feel your heartbeat. Take 10 slow deep breaths, feel each heartbeat, and repeat the mantra, I am grateful 10 times. Pause for 30 more seconds when finished to notice the gratitude that you feel in the moment.
Focus on something beautiful that brings you joy. i.e. a picture, a piece of art, a sunset, or any item that evokes positive emotions.
Recall a positive memory and reflect on what made it so special.
Say hallelujah anyway, as one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott encourages us to do.
Have a gratitude call with a family member or friend and intentionally focus the conversation around gratitude.
“We are the only animal on the planet that can experience gratitude, so exercise this unique gift by making it a habit”
One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is, “Be present in all things and be thankful in all things”.
Landing in gratitude is a choice, so choose wisely, because the quality of your life depends on it.
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