Gratitude: What Are You Thankful For?
Although gratitude is a well-known concept, it isn’t something that the majority of us bring to mind on a regular day-to-day basis.
That being said, there are many benefits to practicing gratitude in your daily life! There is substantial research on the power of gratitude and the connections expressing gratitude has to human relationships, mood, and overall self-reported wellbeing (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Rash, Matsuba, & Prkachin, 2011; Watkins, Woodward, Stone, & Kolts, 2003). It is no surprise that gratitude is linked to increased satisfaction in relationships, improved mood, and increased well-being. With benefits like these, why not make it a point to practice more gratitude!
Here are some ways to help you cultivate gratitude on a daily basis:
1. Write down three things you are grateful for each day.
- This is an incredibly simple suggestion, but is very effective in recognizing the things in your day you are grateful for.
- Write down these things in a notebook or journal, and keep it in a visible place where you will see it. This helps ensure you remember to do it each day!
2. Download a gratitude app on your mobile device, and use it!
- Apps can be a great tool because they are easily accessible if you use your mobile device regularly.
- Two gratitude apps I have tried are Gratitude 365, and Gratitude Journal. Both of these apps allow you to write short entries in addition to including photos of the things you are grateful for each day.
- The homepage of the apps display your entries on your own monthly calendar. This is great to see an overall recap of the things you were grateful for in an entire month.
- These apps also include a Reminder feature, so you can set the app to remind you to write an entry each day at a certain time – great for forming a new habit!
- As an added tip – it can sometimes be meaningful to do this activity with a loved one and record what each of you are feeling grateful for that day.
3. Express gratitude towards the people you are thankful for in your life.
- Write down a list or a letter including the things you are most grateful for about a person who is meaningful to you.
- Once you have completed the list, share it with the person, either by telling them the next time you see them, phoning them, or maybe even sending your letter in the mail!
- You can check out this video for an example of expressing gratitude towards loved ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg
If you don’t want to commit to any of the above suggestions, watch this YouTube video on Gratitude by Louie Schwartzberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ
This video is a wonderful reminder of how many things there are to be grateful for each and every day – I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!
Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Count blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
Rash, J. A., Matsuba, K.M., & Prkachin, K.M. (2011). Gratitude and well-being: Who benefits the most from a gratitude intervention? Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(3), 350-369.
Watkins, P.C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R.L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationships with subjective well-being. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 31(5), 431-451.