Gratitude as a Presence Tool
Gratitude is an extremely powerful emotion similar to appreciation. It is used to show our thanks for the valuable and meaningful things we have in our life, or that are given to us by others. Gratitude in itself is a wonderful thing that makes us and other feels good in the moment. It is also a selfless act which is performed unconditionally to show people they are appreciated.
It has long been realized that gratitude is of high importance in our lives. Philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual leaders have all studied the cause and effects of gratitude over time. The most recent research has found that gratitude is of importance because:
- It improves the overall sense of wellbeing.
- It strengthens personal relationships.
- It makes people more optimistic.
- It improves happiness and satisfaction levels.
- It gives us greater self-control.
- It improves physical and mental health.
- It improves life in general.
Being grateful is not difficult, but in the modern lives we lead that can be fast paced and hectic it can be easy to forget to stop and show gratitude for the things we have. Here are some tips on how to make sure you are grateful:
- Appreciate everything however big or small.
- Find something to be grateful for in every situation including negative ones.
- Count your blessings every day by sitting down and thinking what you can be grateful for.
- Help others less fortunate than yourself. This will make you more grateful for the things you may take for granted and also gain you the gratitude of others.
- Express your gratitude to others and share the well being and happiness gratitude produces.
- Improve your happiness as happiness produces gratitude.
Being grateful is not the only way that gratitude can boost your wellbeing. Over the past decade, researchers have found that simply recording our gratitude in a ‘gratitude journal’ can help too. This process can be important to us as it helps organize our thoughts and accept our experiences whilst putting them into context.
A gratitude journal is a diary in which you can record your daily thoughts on what you are grateful for. It does not need to be a fancy expensive book, it could be just a cheap notepad. It also does not need to contain perfect grammar, spelling or punctuation. It is intended to be YOUR personal record of all you are grateful for!
How you write a gratitude journal is not really important but it can be best to just be straightforward, recording simply five things every day that you are grateful for. A gratitude journal is meant to do little more than remind us and make us pay attention to our gratitude. Research has shown, however, that following these simple tips can produce the best results:
Focus on people you are grateful to rather than things you are grateful for.
- Keep your ‘I am grateful for’ short. Usually, a single sentence will suffice.
- Try to include some of the mundane now and then such as ‘I am grateful for waking up today.’
- Record things that have surprised you.
Keep your ‘I am grateful for’ short. Usually, a single sentence will suffice.