The Powerful Practice of Gratitude: Foundation for Resilience & Happiness

DG-practice-gratitude_pt1I came across this wonderful quote from Oprah Winfrey on Gratitude:

“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful, no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey

From what I read from all the people studying the new science of happiness is that the secret to greater success may be more achievable than you think.

There is a lot of research that confirms taking a few minutes to list the things that you feel grateful for provides a powerful boost of well-being, energy and positive emotions.

Practicing gratitude fosters better relationships, social ties and career success. It also yields greater productivity, determination and optimism. Grateful people sleep better, exercise more and have fewer symptoms of physical illness. They are more likely to be perceived as prime candidates for promotion.

Each day of the week, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night write down three things for which you are grateful. Commit to this habit daily.

Day 1: I am grateful for………….

1.  __________________________________________________________________

2.  __________________________________________________________________

3.  __________________________________________________________________

Day 2: I am grateful for…………. (etc.)

Day 3: I am grateful for…………. (etc.)

 

The Mother of Virtue

Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”Cicero

If success is as simple as this, why aren’t more people keeping a gratitude list?

Perhaps they think it’s a bit hokey — a project reserved for touchy-feely types. Yes, putting in the effort sounds a bit simplistic. But there’s clear evidence that even the most competitive, hard-driving executives benefit from doing so.

The science of happiness provides ample proof that certain practices and exercises improve one’s well-being and mood. When you feel good, you’re more likely to be enthusiastic, generous and supportive of others.

When gratitude becomes a daily habit, you no longer require a special event to make you happy. You become more aware of the good things that happen every day, and you start to anticipate putting them on your list.

I have practiced this for years and can definitely tell the difference when I get lax and have not done it for a few days. I have more feelings of energy, connectedness, peacefulness and a big boost in happiness. So simple, yet effective.

Of course, the key is to develop a sustainable gratitude writing practice. But at least it’s not complicated and doesn’t require a lot of thought. I just write down three things I was grateful for in my day.

Your turn, go ahead and try it for a few weeks and just notice how you are. I know in the coaching work I do, my clients report it’s a simple yet effective tool for enjoying life and reducing worry.

What are you grateful for today?

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