Toolkit to Cultivate Gratitude
Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.
Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter or email expressing your appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a rule to write down a certain number of things you are thankful for per day. Avoid repeating the same things. This will make writing in the journal more challenging as time goes on, but that’s how your awareness and thankfulness will grow. You’ll be challenging yourself to find new things to be thankful for that perhaps you never noticed before.
Count your blessings. When we count our blessings, we note all the wonderful things in our lives. This helps us to appreciate how good life is. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude. Prayer isn’t just closing your eyes, folding your hands and speaking. Prayer is a much more meaningful part of religion.
Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It is important to note that gratitude is not just about being thankful for the good things in your life, but it is about being thankful for everything in your life.
November 20, 2022