Gratitude. A natural feeling. We live in a world where gratitude is taken for granted more and more.
And it is one of the most underrated feelings we can have:
1) Gratitude and contentment are best friends
Do you want to travel around the world and see what doesn’t work and what is not good? Or do you want to travel around the world, surprised by the many small and big wonders that enrich our lives?
Satisfaction does not come from pleasure or external circumstances. Satisfaction is your attitude towards the world around you. Gratitude teaches you to see miracles, large and small.
2) Gratitude promotes relationships:
When was the last time you thanked someone? Told them how they have enriched your life?
Gratitude increases the level of connection you feel with the people you interact with. It makes your relationships richer.
This makes you a person with a positive perspective. It helps you to make close friends.
3) Gratitude not only makes you happy, it makes you strong
When you cultivate gratitude in your life, you develop a positive attitude. It helps you to endure and transform difficult situations.
Besides: the more beautiful and full the memories are, the more difficult it is to separate. But gratitude turns the agony of memory into silent joy. It no longer removes the beauty of the past as a thorn, but as a precious gift.
Gratitude is an underestimated feeling that can make our lives much richer.
Hand on heart: When was the last time you were consciously grateful?
When was the last time you felt grateful? (This goes beyond the often empty “thank you” in everyday life!)
If you want to bring more gratitude into your life, then you should go through the following exercises. Make gratitude a habit and an integral part of your daily life by doing the following:
Exercise 1: Have a gratitude diary
Do you like writing? Take a notebook and write down things you are grateful for at a certain time every day. They can be little things like a good night’s sleep or the sun on your face. But also special things like a nice letter, an intimate contact or a beautiful starry sky.
Be aware with your gratitude diary that even the things that seem the most natural are a small miracle: like pizza for example.
Exercise 2: Reflection
Take some time to think about gratitude. Imagine a situation and be aware how something in that situation has enriched your life. Develop your gratitude for the special little things in your life.
I have been doing this exercise for over a month:
In the morning, right after my meditation session, I take at least five minutes to find three things for which I am grateful for. I take the time to be sincerely grateful and not to think, “thank you”, in a meaningless way.
I find this exercise particularly powerful because it directs my attention in the morning in a direction that gives me a positive view of the day. The podcast of Tim Ferriss with Tony Robbins inspired me to do this exercise.
Exercise 3: Collect stressful thoughts
You can get into the habit of picking up a negative or stressful thought every night: Find something to be grateful for.
It’s not a matter of eliminating or devaluating the overwhelming thought/feeling: it’s simply a supplement to get a balanced picture of the situation.
This exercise comes from acceptance and attachment therapy.
Exercise 4 Writing thanks, conversation
One of the most effective exercises is to express the gratitude you feel towards someone. This can take the form of a letter or a conversation. Describe in detail what the person has done or is doing and tell them what it has triggered in you and how it enriches your life.
Writing a letter without sending it already increases your well-being. At least that’s what some studies say. But the strongest effect on well-being is the gratitude when it is expressed.
For more than a month, the ritual of gratitude has enriched my everyday life. See for yourself: Choose a ritual and perform it for 28 days.
Which gratitude rituals do you know or have you ever practiced?