Four Tips to Increase Gratitude
Have you ever had a day where you ran from one activity to the next, barely having time to catch your breath? It’s on days like these that I tend to lose sight of the small things that bless my life. I may miss a kind look, word of encouragement, or the beauty of the world around me.
At this time of year, we focus on gratitude and giving thanks for the big and small blessings that surround us. In the busy-ness of daily life, it’s easy to be distracted. Here are four tips to develop a gratitude practice.
Gratitude Tips for Busy People:
1- Prime the Pump – Priming is the cognitive state which increases sensitivity to certain stimuli. For example, it can cause you to see a certain type of car on the road more frequently after you buy one yourself. When you are intentionally grateful you prime your mind to see reality through a filter of thankfulness and abundance. The more you do it, the more you’ll feel it. Develop your ‘gratitude muscle’ by noticing things every day for which you are grateful.
2 – Play a Gratitude Game – Take a few minutes to reflect appreciatively each day. Whether you do it before bed, or over your morning coffee, or as you’re driving, notice 3 things that are right and good. Consider including yourself on the list. Say it out loud, or write it down, in this format: “I am grateful for __________because________.” Knowing why you are grateful expands and deepens the experience, bringing it more fully into your heart.
3 – Give to Get More Abundance – When we give our time, attention, or money we are using our resources for the benefit of others. Something magical happens for both the giver and the receiver when we share. It becomes a powerful force of positive energy. Until we give, it is only a potential source of power. It is through giving that you are able to realize the full power and extent of the gifts in your life and the true nature of abundance. When we recognize that we have enough to share we are making a statement to the universe that we are living abundantly, and we shift our hearts to a place of generosity. This circle of good energy expands every time we give.
4 – Being Grateful Even in Hard Situations – For many of us this is the most challenging step of all. Let’s face it, learning to apply gratitude around the unpleasant, negative and painful situations in our lives is difficult. The key lies in realizing that we don’t have to be grateful for the event, person, or thing itself but rather in the learning that occurred from it. Notice how you are growing, or what opportunities are opening up for you as a result of the experience to shift to a more positive perspective.
Most of us were taught to say “thank you” as children. We know those two simple words can have a powerful impact, smoothing out the rough edges of our interpersonal interactions. “Thank You” can become so much more when we develop a practice of mindful gratitude. It has been said to be the most powerful form of prayer and is the simplest way to shift our energy from negative to positive. Try it today. Being grateful-on-purpose will help you see the abundance in your life on a regular basis.
Today’s author: Carol deLaski, PCC, is a strengths-based executive coach who guides individuals and businesses to be their best. For more information about her coaching services, and her book Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith, visit www.caroldelaski.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org