Gratitude is when you take time to truly see and appreciate the world around you. There are eleven ways to express gratitude illustrated in this article
1. Say Your Own Grace
Even if you are not particularly religious, say a “Grace” when you put on a meal for family and friends. If you don’t want to say a prayer. Simply tell those at your table that you are grateful for each one of them. Always express gratitude.
2. Don’t just Say Thank You
‘Thank you’ is a beautiful phrase redolent of gratitude—yet when we say ‘thank you’ we often say it the way we say ‘how are you?”—without waiting for (or wanting) a real answer.
People say, “You’re welcome”, and they say it automatically too. So next time you need to say ‘thank you’ to someone, turn it into an opportunity for genuine gratitude. Acknowledge what you are thankful for and note any sacrifice that was made for your benefit. For example, “Thank you for working this weekend, Sarah. I know you were looking forward to going hiking, and I appreciate you giving up your time to help me get the launch ready when Jane called in sick.”
Not only will that person feel truly appreciated, but your mindful gratitude will warm your own heart too—and remind you how truly lucky you are.
3. Re-read Old Journal Entries
Formalise this. Go back through your entries once a month, and again once a year. Make sure you include things you are grateful for every day in list form … so you can go back whenever you’re feeling down (or at those regular times we mentioned) to note and really count your blessings. Read a book that will help you with this.
4. Be in the Moment
Get into the habit of stopping yourself several times a day simply to notice what you are doing and how you are feeling. Notice the sun shining, if it’s a sunny day. Notice how clean and pretty your office looks, with your bouquet of fresh flowers. Notice that funny little drawing on your bulleting board that your six-year-old did for you. Say to yourself, “I am alive in this moment, and I am grateful for the gift of my life.”
5. Be Specific
Take the time to detail the things you are grateful for. Get in the habit of being specific.
For example, don’t just say, “I am grateful for good food”. Really think about what you just ate (or are about to eat) and describe it to God or to your journal. It will have a much richer meaning for you, when you go through old journals, years from now. “I am grateful for Grandma’s hot, home-made biscuits and the way she loves to make them,” is far more meaningful than “Had good food today”. Re-reading your own words, you will recapture wonderful memories—sights, sounds, scents and faces—for years to come.
6. Make Yourself a Gratitude Template
If certain things you’ve expressed gratitude for in your journal really resonate when you re-read them, use that comment as a template for the way you write down other expressions of gratitude.
In addition to what you are grateful for, also list things like:
- Why you are grateful
- How it makes you feel
(Note that journals you purchase often are set up like wonderful templates too!)
7. Take the Time to Find the Right Journal
Not every journal works for every person—and if you go onto Amazon.com and search for “gratitude journals” or “daily journals”, you’ll find they can be as varied as snowflakes (and almost as prolific!)
Take the time to find a journal that works with your learning and communication style. If you’re a visual learner, find one with pictures or illustrations you find inspiring. If you are factual and left-brained, look for journals that provide lists. If you adore nature, choose a journal that contains images of beautiful places. And so forth.
Having just the right journal—one that you love to write in—increases the chances that you’ll stick to your 21-day commitment … and beyond.
8. Keep it Short
With everything new you are doing, don’t be over-ambitious. Take a realistic look at yourself. If you’re someone whose only habit is not creating new habits and aborting challenges, then it is especially important to keep all your new methods and gratitude/mindfulness practices short.
Don’t force yourself to meditate for an hour, if you’ve never done it before, for example. Don’t make yourself run a mile if you get tired walking across the room. Don’t force yourself to write fifty things you’re grateful for—start out with a number you can easily achieve. (It should almost feel TOO easy!) Write down three things you are grateful for (not thirty). Do five minutes of meditation—not fifty. Spend the whole 21 Days simply doing four breathing exercises, before you join of up for a Tai Chi class.
Less is more, when you don’t mind doing it every single day.
9. Write Testimonials
Write testimonials for everyone in your life. Note what they contribute to your well-being or business, personality traits you admire or enjoy and at least one detailed example of how they put their skills or values into practice.
Even if you don’t plan to share these ‘testimonials’ yet, you will affirm or re-affirm their value in your own eyes. And it will show up in your interactions—as well as being ready-at-hand should a former client or contractor ever ask you for an actual testimonial.
10. Pass Your Gratitude On
Getting into the habit of passing on your gratitude—doing or saying things that show people how much you appreciate them, or sharing positive things that you are thankful for and love—can be catching. It can transform relationships, shift negative office atmospheres to positive ones and change lives—and businesses—for the better.
Gratitude has a habit of spilling over into every aspect of your life—especially when you honor your body and mind with exercise, good food, rest and mindfulness. It’s like sunshine on a dark day, when it is genuine and really lived.
11. Always Keep Your Word
There’s nothing that expresses gratitude and appreciation like consistency. Showing the people around you how much you value them by always being true to your word. Letting them know that they can always rely on you. And pretty soon you will find that people treat you exactly as you treat them, pretty much as the saying goes.
Thanks for reading.
I see you…
About The Author:
My name is Lungisa Sonqishe, I am Personal Brand & Business Strategy, Career and Executive Coach.
My mission is to activate the spark within others and remind them of their greatness, and to act as the way-shower to their true passion.