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How to make gratitude a way of life

https://www.fastcompany.com/90436609/how-to-make-gratitude-a-way-of-life

fastcompany.com

How to make gratitude a way of life
Gratitude can be difficult to practice, but you can gain a lot from making it an everyday part of your life.

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Philosophical roots of gratitude

Aristotle argued that we become what we habitually do. If we spend our days thinking of everything that has gone poorly and how dark our future appears, we can think ourselves into misery.

While we should pay attention to the many injustices to be righted, we can also make the world a better place by being aware of the good things it already affords. We can change ourselves into the kind of people who seek out and celebrate things we can be thankful for.

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Religious roots of gratitude

  • In Judaism, the first words of the morning prayer could be translated, "I thank you."
  • From a Christian perspective, thanksgiving is vital. Jesus gives thanks before he shares his last meal with his disciples.
  • The 55th chapter of the Quran lists all the things humans have to be grateful for - the sun, moon, clouds, rain, air, grass, animals, plants, river, and oceans.
  • Hindu festivals celebrate blessings and offer thanks for them.
  • In Buddhism, gratitude develops patience and serves as an antidote to greed.

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Gratitude as a way of life

One way to cultivate a disposition of gratitude is to give thanks regularly - at the beginning of the day, at meals, and at the end of the day.

Holidays, weeks, seasons, and years can be punctuated with thanks - grateful prayer, writing thank-you notes, and keeping a gratitude journal.

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Definition Of Gratitude

The 18th-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards defined gratitude as a natural affection felt toward another person who has benefited us.

Gratitude is generally interpersonal and can induce positive feelings even toward our foes.

Benefits Of Gratitude

Positive psychologists have credited gratitude (both personal and interpersonal) with:

  1. Improving our emotional wellbeing.
  2. Promoting prosocial behaviour.
  3. Helping us regulate our emotions.
  4. Relieving symptoms of asthma.

Appreciate everything

The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.

Find gratitude in your challenges

Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.

Dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today.

Practice mindfulness

Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. 

Picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. Doing this every day will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier after every session.