Make a quick search on the internet and you will quickly fine thousands of search results speaking to the benefits of honestly being grateful and thankful. Just the simply action of saying thank you can have a tremendous effect on your well-being.
Recently, as I was getting off the bus along with a group of others, a gentleman ahead of me had five dollars fly out of his pocket. I quickly picked it up and ran up to him to return it. His initial facial reaction read, “Why,” but his second facial reaction showed thanks, appreciation, and gratitude. We didn’t speak during this exchange as we both had our iPods plugged in and looking back on it, I don’t know how the rest of his day went, but I certainly felt the benefits of doing something nice and helping out a fellow human being.
A quick and simple way to practice and experience the benefits of gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’ve heard the idea before. It’s certainly not a new concept, but it is definitely worthy of being promoted again. A gratitude journal is simply a gathering of your thoughts at the end of the day of five things for which you are grateful. It’s simple and most nights it’s quick to complete; other days, it can take some time to come up with five things, but you’ll be glad you did. To look back and see all of the positive things that have given you sweet memory is worth it. Once a week, I like to extend my grateful journal to include some questions that help to boost my confidence as well as extend my thanks and gratitude for everything I have.
I’ve included the questions here. These are a smart set of questions that help to remind each of us how good we really are and what we have to be thankful for and pleased about in our lives right now. Take just ten minutes per week, sit down, and jot down your thoughts to:
- What have I got to be grateful for in my life right now?
- What am I happy about in my life right now?
- Why am I happy about these things?
- What did I accomplish last week?
- What am I excited about in my life right now?
- Who do I love and appreciate in my life? Who do I like hanging around? Why?
- Who loves and appreciates me for what I am? Warts and all!
If I’m struggling to come up with five things that I am grateful for, I take the time to answer the questions because I know I’m going to have my list of five great things. I use the questions on Sunday evenings as I’m getting ready to go to bed and to wrap up my previous week. It helps to put a positive spin on to the next week and I go to bed feeling good about what’s happening in my life. So take some time this week and answer these questions, and see how the following week changes for the positive for you.