Cultivating Gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful – it’s a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Practicing gratitude can help us to realize what we have – and lessen our need for wanting more all the time.

We are not necessarily “hardwired” to be grateful. Like any skill worth having, gratitude requires practice, and the results are worth your time and energy. Cultivating and practicing gratitude can help to improve your health, strengthen your relationships, reduce stress, and generally, make you happier.

The simple act of thinking about who and what you’re grateful for can make such a big difference in your life?

Practicing gratitude serves to remind you of all the positive things in your life. It can help to make you happy about the people in your life – whether these are your loved ones or friends, or simply a random person who showed you a kindness.

Try to give at least one compliment daily, it could be to a person or it could be by asking someone to share your appreciation of something such as “I love the way the wind blows in the trees, don’t you?”

Cultivating gratitude can help to turn bad things into good things.  If you identify something or someone with a negative trait (the cold conference room), switch it in your mind to a positive trait (the conference room with a great view).

Practicing gratitude can remind you of what’s truly important in life. Stop complaining about the little things, maybe you didn’t like what someone said in a meeting or did someone push in front of you at the supermarket. Instead, give thanks that you, your children, your parents, your spouse or partner, your pets and even your garden and house plants are alive and healthy.

Practicing gratitude can remind you of the abundance you have in your life. Notice your day to day world from a point of gratitude and be amazed at all of the goodness going on that we usually just take for granted.

Keep a gratitude journal it doesn’t have to be anything fancy – note down at least one thing a day that you have to feel grateful for.  You could make a list of each day’s “little joys” moments such as: “going for an early morning walk with my dog” “having a hot shower,” “helping my son with his homework.” This exercise can help remind you of all the blessings in your life that you may normally take for granted and may encourage you to appreciate those mundane moments that can actually be sources of joy.

Remembering – Gratitude is the heart’s memory,” says the French proverb. One of the first steps to thankfulness can be to remember those in our lives who have walked with us and shown kindness for deeds big and small. The mere exercise of remembering such people can cultivate gratitude in your life.

Giving back – Giving back doesn’t necessarily mean reciprocating favours like for like so that everything is fair and the score is even. That’s the beauty of giving. If someone does an act of kindness for you, one way to say thank you is to do the same for another.

It seems that if you want more happiness, joy and energy in your life then gratitude is clearly an important quality to cultivate, it is a fullness of heart that moves us away from limitation and fear towards expansion and love.  Gratitude brings our attention into the present and the deeper our appreciation the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony and balance.