What is gratitude?
It’s easy to say thank you. Almost too easy. There is a difference between saying thank you and being thankful.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful.
When you say thank you, it is something you do.
When you feel thankful, it is something you are.
How to let more gratitude in
Gratitude is the foundation on which happiness is built. The more grateful you can be, the easier it is to build happiness on top.
My strategy for gratitude is simple: every day I write down three things I am grateful for.
Sometimes I do it just before bed, and sometimes I do it when I first wake up. But I record it every day.
My daily gratitude entry takes the same form every day: Today I am grateful for ___, ___, and ___.
It’s only one sentence. Every day.
Why does it work?
Pushing yourself into a positive state every day helps you to consistently feel better. Even on the bad days I write down my three things. It stops you, just for a moment, to pause, look for, and be thankful for all the good in your life.
Sometimes, on the really bad days, it can be just as helpful to be grateful for what didn’t happen.
Record your three things in the same place: the same spread in your journal, the same notes page on your phone, or the same document on your computer. At first it won’t seem much. But after 30 days you will see 90 positive things you have been grateful for.
Something small, but always positive, happens every day.
You will start to notice patterns in what you are grateful for. This helps you to seek more experiences like this. I have found all my entries revolve around my family and my experiences – rather than ‘stuff’ and material items.
It is easy to do and easy to keep doing
To write three things in one sentence only takes a couple of minutes a day. You will soon realise it is time well spent.