By Brent Flory
Would you be interested in improving your health, becoming more optimistic, and having greater influence with people in your life? What if I told you could make strides in each of these areas by investing just 30 minutes a day?
Sounds too good to be true, right? Thankfully, it isn’t. You can enjoy growth in each of these areas, just by growing in gratitude.
(This post is the third in a series on gratitude. Last week I discussed how being grateful makes you more marketable.)
We have looked previously at the health benefits, and the psychological and social benefits of practicing gratitude shown by the research of University of California, Davis psychology professorRobert A. Emmons. However, knowing the benefits of being more grateful only gets you so far. We are going to cover practical steps to help you grow in gratitude.
Build gratitude in your life 30 minutes a day by:
1) Scheduling gratitude. (2 minutes)
If I don’t put something on my calendar, it probably isn’t going to happen. Break up your morning and afternoon routines by putting reminders on your calendar to stop for 1 minute and think of 3 things you are grateful for.
2) Speaking gratitude. (3 minutes)
Two words: thank you. Throw in a sincere smile in that person’s direction and they will be happy to help you in the future. The couple of seconds it takes per interaction will add up as you become more conscious of the people around you who make your career and life possible.
Make it a point to tell two people each day something specific you are grateful for that they do.
3) Sensing gratitude. (4 minutes)
Use your senses to sow a mindset of gratitude. Pause for a moment and take in what you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. Do you love the smell of coffee in the morning like I do? Express appreciation to the barista (or significant other) who prepared it for you.
Love hearing the sound of your child’s laughter? Let them know. When you see a good friend, let them know freely how much you care about them. The more we allow our senses to make us aware of life going on around us, the more opportunities we have to cultivate gratitude.
4) Journaling about gratitude. (20 minutes)
By far the biggest commitment, but with the biggest payoff as well. Taking the time in the evening to journal in the evening has multiple benefits. Purposefully journaling about people and events that you are grateful for in your daily life will help reinforce your newfound habit. And if you forgot to do any or all of the previous suggestions, it can serve as a reminder to start anew tomorrow.