GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, noticing the silver linings, acknowledging the things that you receive and are already present in your life, and the situations or people that have supported you along the way, yes that includes yourself. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to abundance that is present and available in each day. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can affect many life improvements, makes people happier and more resilient, strengthens relationships, improves health, and reduces stress, at least … What a gift!
Three Aspects of Appreciation 1. Gratitude to self: Note things that you are grateful for in your world. Include qualities or actions about yourself for which you are grateful. 2. Savoring: Bring your senses to focusing on what you appreciate aesthetically (a beautiful sunset, a good meal, the smell of a flower, the feel of petting your dog/cat, etc). Send all your attention and appreciation to this one thing (mindfulness) 3. Expressing gratitude to others: Express your appreciation to those people you value and are thankful to and for, if not verbally or by word, at least in writing about them and sending energetically.
At the beginning and/or at the end of your day, write about three things that went well during the day. After each positive event, continue to write about some of the following: why was it good? What did you say or do that made it good? What did someone else say or do that made it good? Did it follow a conflict that got resolved or negotiated? Did you gain insight that helped in your understanding or attitude?
Do this daily for (at least) 15 days - 30 even better! And, smile.
(This exercise was found to increase happiness and decrease depression up to 6 months after a week of consistently and thoroughly doing the exercise. 60% of participants carried on the habit. Seligman, M., Steen, T.A., Park, interventions, American Psychologist, 60, 410-421)
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." ~ Melody Beattie