In times of public and personal disquiet, I have to dig deeper to practice my gratitude habit. I have to admit, my first instinct does not take me there, but I know going there serves me and others. I remember lessons others have taught me about being resilient through challenging circumstances. Victor Frankl, Maya Angelou, Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and so many others who, over the years, have moved me with their wisdom, grace, and ability to focus on the nuggets of gratitude in their daily lives through challenging times.
I have worked on applying their wisdom and focusing on what gifts I have been given to see me through times of disquiet. I am grateful for the human capacity to be agile, for the spirit of the resilient, the ability to imagine possibilities, the knowledge to live with a heart at peace, and to know that I have choices.
This is part 3 in the 3-part series on Gratitude by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.What matters is establishing the habit of noticing what we are grateful for. Click To Tweet
I have been exploring the importance of feeling and expressing more gratefulness in our lives. Scientists are discovering how an attitude of gratitude is essentially connected to your health, relationships, and both emotional and physical wellbeing.
But, how can you grow more gratitude? Dr. Alison Chen, a naturopathic doctor, writes in a recent Huffington Post article that creating a nightly gratitude ritual is a powerful strategy. She suggests taking a few minutes at the end of each day to stop and reflect, as a great way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.
Chen’s other suggestions include:
Write Thank You Notes
Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.
Mind your Please and Thank You’s
While it’s easy to say words like please and thank you in passing, these courtesies can become potent acknowledgments of gratitude when combined with eye contact and sincerity.
Expressing thanks during moments of reflection is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you are actively paying attention to the moment you are in. You can accomplish this as you walk from one place to another and just notice what you are thankful for. Is it a beautiful day? Are you thankful for walking without pain? Are you thankful for the experience you just had or are about to have? Or, you can sit quietly and focus on something that you are grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a memory.
Take a couple of minutes each day to pause and reflect. Taking a regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more awareness and feelings of gratefulness in your life. It doesn’t matter if we do this through silent meditation, or in conversation with others such as a coach or a trusted friend. What matters is establishing the habit of noticing what we are grateful for.