Gratitude seems to be everywhere these days. I was standing in line at store the other day waiting to return something. While I waited, over the cashier counter at that store, an advertisement of a woman lounging in her athleisure at a mountain resort while her drinking coffee started back at me with the hashtag gratitude in small print at the bottom corner of the ad.
All I could think was, “Yes, please!” It was marketing for the store and brand, but the minute I took in the scene and digested the idea of gratitude, I was no longer annoyed at the long line, and I remembered to think about what I was grateful for. It may be consumerization of gratitude, but I think I am okay with that. In fact, I rather love it.
Gratitude has gotten so much buzz because it’s been shown to improve your mindset (check out Harvard Medical Letter review of gratitude). Those who actively practice gratitude report feeling happier.
I’ve taken up a gratitude practice in the past year, journaling about what I’m grateful for, taking a moment to say thank you for the small things in life (a parking space, a sunny day, a sweet comment from my kids), generally trying to be more in the moment so I can be present to the greatness around me.
I wouldn’t have thought this small practice of saying “thank you” more would have such a big impact, but it has had a tremendous influence on how happy I feel. I am more optimistic and joyful because of being more grateful. And I hear this not only from research, but first hand from friends who also have taken on gratitude as a practice in their daily lives.
Some simple practices that you can take up as a part of a gratitude practice.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
- Mentally Thank Someone
- Write Thank You Notes
We are the energy we want to attract. The more grateful we are, the more happy and optimistic we are, the more of that energy we attract.