Nov 28th 2019 is Thanksgiving in the United States and it is a wonderful time to give thanks for everything we have in our lives. We can give thanks daily of course. All of us have reasons to be unhappy with certain events in our lives but as a lot of science has proven gratitude promotes happiness instantly. Gratitude is the cornerstone of a healthy personality. If we make this a daily practice, we will have lesser stress in our lives. Here are some simple ways to develop our gratitude muscles daily which is the key to Thanksgiving.
Practice generosity: This is a simple suggestion but not easy. We can show our generosity in the way we treat our colleagues or anyone else we meet. If we are waiting in line for example, we can do it without trying to rush it. We can also be generous in our appreciation of others in our team. Especially as leaders we need to appreciate our teams more which will increase their work performance as well.
Have an abundance mentality: There is plenty of credit to go around. Everyone has their own talents and are on their own journey. This means all of us can take heart in others success while pursuing our own race to be the best we can be. This is the basis of gratitude. Filling our mind with abundance thoughts increases our happiness levels as well.
Self-compassion: Most of us are too hard on ourselves. The best way to overcome this is we can ask the question what we would tell our best friend in this situation. We are all more objective in giving others the correct advice while being hard on ourselves. So, developing self-compassion is a cornerstone to a healthy personality.
Practice forgiveness: This is one of the principles that is guaranteed to instantly make you feel lighter. Forgive everyone you think has hurt you because it is all in your thoughts. First off no one tries to hurt another purposely and if we understand that it is easier to forgive everyone. The other person that we need to forgive is ourselves. Again, being too hard on ourselves doesn’t serve anyone and it is better to forgive.
Journal gratitude: This has been mentioned as one of the best ways to feel great about your life. What I have done is to write down everything I am grateful for from my childhood till now and there is really a lot to be thankful for. Once it is written down you can look at it daily especially when you feel slightly down. The other option is to write every day for a few minutes what you are thankful for. Recently I read a book called Thanks A Thousand by A. J. Jacobs which is all about being grateful for everything and everyone in your life.
Capture moments: Whenever there is something important that happens or a pleasant moment immediately capture it in your camera or record it in your journal. We always think we will remember such moments, but we usually forget. It is very important to focus our lives on the things that are working for us. Therefore, again writing in a journal is a powerful way to keep track of all the good things in your life.
No envy: The best part of being grateful is you stop comparing yourself with others. You understand that the race you are running is not comparable with anyone else. In the Laws of Human Nature Robert Greene gives some terrific tips for this. He says move closer to envy which is look at the celebrity you envy closely and see what problems that come with being famous. Then ask yourself the question do you really want to trade lives with that person. In almost all cases the answer would be no. The other option is to be so comfortable in your own skin by having a strong purpose and lofty goals which you are always working towards. When you progress towards what you clearly want there will be very little room for envy.
Accomplishment log: The final way to build your gratitude muscle is to keep an accomplishment log. This consists of everything you consider as your accomplishment and keep track of it. Keep adding to it weekly or monthly. This is a good way to look back at how far you have come and does make you feel happier. This also ensures you don’t look at what is missing in your life.
There you have it all the keys you need to develop your gratitude muscles. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and Happy Thanksgiving to all.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.