Gratitude has become a bit of a buzz word over recent years.
We hear all the time how important it is to have an “attitude of gratitude” in order to live a fullfiling and happy life. But how true is that? Is there any science behind it?
Well, I would argue that it is true, and yes there is science to back it up for anyone who thinks this concept is a little too out there for them.
What is gratitude?
Well, put simply, it is just being thankful for what you have, being grateful for your life and everything and everyone in it.
It’s so easy to drift through life and stop noticing all the things that are really wonderful in your life. We are all guilty of it. We take things, places and people for granted and just expect them to always be there. When we practice gratitude we make an effort to notice and to write down all those things we are thankful for, but also to let those people know that we are grateful for them, that we appreciate them.
How can you practice gratitude?
Well, there are lots of ways to practice gratitude. My favourite is to have a gratitude journal. I keep mine by my bed. Every night you write down all the things you are grateful for. Some people suggest you write three things, but I think most days that is too easy and doesn’t exercise your gratitude muscle enough, I would say to aim for between 5 and 15 a day. The more you write down everything you are grateful for, the more reasons you will find to be grateful.
Of course you don’t need to write it down, you can just think it or say it to yourself. I find that writing it down helps to keep me accountable though because I can see if I missed a day or two.
Some people prefer to use a jar and every time something wonderful happens to them they write it on a slip of paper and pop it in the jar, then take things out to read either when they need a lift, or at the end of the year.
Something as simple as saying thank you to someone, maybe sending them a little card, is all part of practicing gratitude though.