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: Three Ways of Cultivating Gratitude

Three Ways of Cultivating Gratitude

Global Content Strategist

During the holiday season, we often talk about being thankful. We appreciate our friends and family and our health. We look at everything in our favor and ponder our positive life experiences. When we do this, we are indeed practicing the art of gratitude.

Gratitude is defined as "the feeling of appreciation and thanks." It is an emotion expressing gratefulness for what one has-as opposed what one wants or needs. Gratitude brings about the opportunity to see a situation from more angles. Instead of focusing on what is missing, we can assess what is. It opens up the opportunity for new solutions and is associated with amplified levels of energy and optimism.

In addition to a more positive life attitude, gratitude has considerable health benefits. It reduces stress levels and thus allows us to cope with daily problems in a more controlled manner. An optimistic attitude also boosts the immune system (for example, it helps us maintain higher number of blood cells that protect us); gratitude helps us function better.

Although this all sounds good, we are not hardwired to be grateful. We need to consciously practice gratitude in order for it to become part of our lives and to reap its benefits.

So, here are some tips for cultivating gratitude …

  • Make an internal note - As you go about your day, note a thing or two for which you are grateful. No need for diaries or apps, just a quick moment of appreciation will do.
  • Make an external effort- A compliment to a friend or a family member can play an important role in you becoming conscious of what you have. Involve others in your appreciativeness.
  • Make a commitment- This one is the most demanding, but it can bring about the most positive change in your life. Set a challenge for yourself: Vow not to complain for 3 days (or any other period of time) and notice the energy you spend on negativity. I guarantee that it will open your eyes to the powerful effects of being grateful.

Being Grateful is Good for Your Health

On top of becoming more energetic and optimistic, you may also experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, be kinder, and even have a stronger immune system. And while being thankful is at the core of the holiday season, gratitude doesn't need to be reserved only for momentous occasions. See how the tips above can change your life every day, all year round.

 

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