Most of us have been taught something about gratitude early in life. Since we were little, we’ve been conditioned to say, “thank you” along with other words like “sorry” and “excuse me” by our elders, parents and teachers at home and in school. Thank you - just two simple words that are so familiar since childhood, but its meaning goes far beyond that and beyond simply being polite.
What Is The Real Power Of Gratitude?
Gratitude is an outstanding habit to cultivate because of the endless positive benefits associated with it. Living a positive life, which is so important, is anchored on the attitude of gratitude. There are many scientific studies conducted on gratitude and there’s no doubt how immensely powerful its benefits are.
However, it takes understanding and learning what the concept really means in order to practice it effectively.
Gratitude is like a muscle that first needs to be discovered and then put into use. Eventually, regularly practicing gratitude will help us turn it into a habit. Fortunately, gratitude is not an inborn trait that you either have or you don’t. That’s a good thing because we can all improve it with more practice.
One Habit To Cultivate Gratitude
There are many ways to create a habit of gratitude. However, there is one very simple and powerful thing you can practice to cultivate gratitude and turn it into a habit. It is so simple that many people overlook it, yet it will do more for creating and maintaining an attitude of gratitude than anything else.
Acknowledge one thing that you are grateful for. And do it daily.
Whether you are expressing yourself verbally to a loved one and telling them how grateful you are for their presence in your life, or you’re quietly writing your gratitude list down in your private journal, the key to gratitude is simply expressing it. Express your gratitude by any means and do it daily.
Making a good habit, as we all know, is not easy. Cultivating gratitude as a habit becomes especially challenging when ‘expressing gratitude,’ ‘saying thank you,’ and simple ‘gestures of appreciation’ is alien to us.
Many people today find it so easy to complain but impossible to appreciate anything and to express appreciation. It can be really toxic not only to other people you are directing your complaints to but, more importantly, to yourself. Negative thinking is toxic to your wellbeing as it leaves you blind and unable to see the good in most situations.
People who consistently complain are naturally drawn to negativity, but they are also resistant to recognizing the good things. It’s like a curse that leaves you positivity-resistant. When people complain, they are essentially thinking negatively. It can be really harmful as we know how negative thoughts lead to more stress, worrying and anxiety.
A complaining habit blends well with many negative emotions such as feeling sad, anxious, and depressed. Complaining may appear natural and harmless, a natural human reaction. But little do most people realize that by doing so, they are magnifying negativity and effortlessly creating more problems.
Here are powerful ways to develop a habit of gratitude.
Train Your Brain to be Grateful
Our subconscious mind directs 95% of our actions and thoughts. To create a habit, you need to plant it on a subconscious level. At first, you will need to really train your brain consciously to be more grateful. It will feel difficult at first if it’s not natural for your brain to react that way.
Your conscious mind is doing most of the heavy lifting at this point; you are basically learning a new skill. But with consistent practice, it should only take a few weeks for your brain to rewire itself and adapt to your new pattern, which is gratitude.
Encourage Positivity with Helpful Tools
A gratitude journal can balance out our natural bias towards negativity. That’s why it is a powerful tool you can use to establish a new gratitude habit. Create gratitude lists daily. Reading powerful gratitude quotes and affirmations will also help improve your perspective.
Connect with Other People
Gratitude is a social emotion. Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading researcher on Gratitude, says that “people are more likely to feel grateful when they put their focus on others, rather than getting caught up in their own inner narratives about how things should have gone. Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude.”
Just add some intention and attention, and your Thank You becomes a very powerful THANK YOU!