The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude is being thankful and appreciative for what one receives and experiences. It is a time to reflect on the people who help us and it connects us to something larger — be that our community, nature, or a higher power.
A study done on gratitude journaling found it helped improve mental health and well-being. This should come as no surprise since gratitude is associated with greater happiness, positive emotions, reflection on good experiences, improved health, and strong relationships.
10 Tips To Grow Gratitude
Gratitude can span from reflecting on past positive memories to rejoicing in the joy of little things today, or keeping a hopeful and optimistic attitude about the future. All of these intentions help to grow gratitude by helping people appreciate what they have instead of believing that there is always something or someone that will make them happier or more satisfied. During these times — since it can be particularly hard to gather with friends and colleagues face to face — joining the Social Hour - Staying Positive During the Pandemic to talk about tips and tricks for staying positive in unusual circumstances may be a good resource for you. Staying grateful may seem difficult at first but the more you practice gratitude the easier it gets.
1.Be Present- Focus on the event, person, and here & now you are experiencing instead of trying to do multiple things at the same time. This will allow you to see the nuances and appreciate the little things involved in these interactions.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal - This can be as simple as writing three things you are grateful for before you go to bed or tracking everything you are grateful for throughout the day. It can include essays and more.
3. Compliment people - Did a cool pair of shoes catch your eye? Does a friend’s new haircut look snazzy? Let people know! Give a compliment to show you appreciate something.
4. Thank People- When people do something that deserves a ‘thank you’, give it! That can be with a vocal, in-person ‘thank you’, or by writing a letter. At the very least, you can start small and thank people in your head.
5. Schedule Gratitude Moments - If you aren’t into writing a journal you can take some time for mindful reflection with gratitude moments when you reflect on what you are grateful for. Try to schedule the same time daily so you don’t forget.
6. Meditate - Take time to meditate. This is reflection time for you where you can focus on yourself and the gratitude you have for the world, your body, your space, and your mental health. Take a class on Meditation Techniques - What, Why & How They Can Help Improve Wellbeing or join a Social Hour - Meditating Together to hold yourself accountable and learn how to effectively meditate.
7. No Complain Day - Commit to one day a week where you don’t complain about anything. See if you can do it!
8. Reward Effort - Let your partner, colleague, family and friends know you appreciate your relationship and what they do for you. This can come in the form of a thank you, a compliment, or perhaps a thoughtful token of appreciation like a baked good or lunch treat!
9. Volunteer - Give back to the community and show you are grateful! Share your time and skills with those who can benefit from them by becoming a volunteer with an organization whose mission you support!
10. Smile More - Smiling is the greatest compliment and message to the world. Show the world you see it and you are an approachable person to share gratitude and the world with. Put on that smile!
Want to learn more about gratitude? Take a class on The Power of Gratitude or join a class to help you think more positively like Use Positive Thinking to Manage Stress, Health and Your Mood. Start with one of these 10 great tips to grow gratitude and you're sure to be on the right track!