The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from injury.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. When we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, family support, friends who listen and really hear, nourishing food, clean drinking water, the ability to read, nature, our health, a fulfilling career, a purpose in life. What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
- Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
- Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
- Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
- When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
- Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
Seema Shah has worked in healthcare for over a decade as a clinician in UK. Her interest in holistic health made her explore various fields over the years, and has enabled her to come up with a unique plant-based holistic health coaching approach. She trained as a holistic health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In 2009, she trained as a raw food chef. Her love for creative expression led her to train as an image consultant at the prestigious Colour Me Beautiful institute in London in 2012. Her passion for encouraging women to dress their authentic truth in tune with their personality, lifestyle, physical features and preferences has resulted in empowering women with color, makeup and styling. Furthermore, her passion for yoga and meditation led her to train as a yoga instructor. Seema is a DoTerra wellness advocate and loves to inspire people to use essential oils for their health and wellbeing. In her spare time, Seema loves to express her creativity through the world of colors by painting, which she finds therapeutic. You can get in touch with Seema at firstname.lastname@example.org