6 Ways To Cultivate Gratitude

GratitudeEven the Harvard Mental Health Letter is writing about the benefits of gratitude. They say, “Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.” They offer 6 ways to cultivate gratitude.

Several research studies have shown that groups of people assigned to writing about gratitude fared better than the control groups who wrote about other events. In one study, people were asked to write and deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness. This resulted in a huge increase in happiness.

6 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

These 6 ways to cultivate gratitude are not that different from what we have seen in other articles on this website. See, for example, The Power of Gratitude.

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.). [Read more…].

Which of these 6 ways to cultivate gratitude do you think would work best for you? Naturally, I choose, meditate. Gratitude is part of my daily meditation practice.

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