How To Make Gratitude A Habit
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.
In this article we will look at how to make gratitude a habit and why it is so important if you want to lead a more content and fulfilling life…
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 on a consistent basis.
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’ are 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 well being 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 recognising 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 realise that by doing so, they are magnifying negativity and effortlessly creating more problems.
Here are a few 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, author of Thanks!: How The New Science Of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, and 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.”
So there you have it. These are just a few strategies you can start applying to establish more gratitude in your life. They WILL work but only if you are prepared to recognise the true benefits. It will take a little work initially but I would love to read your thoughts about the power of gratitude and if it has had a positive impact in your life in some way. Please leave a comment below to share your story.