What is Gratitude Living?
As I walk to where my daughter loves to ride her little bicycle, I am thinking how immensely grateful we are for living in a community where people are so friendly, welcoming and diverse. This thought immediately brings emotions of happiness, ease, and presence in the moment. It is amazing how our thoughts instantly bring feelings, emotions and actions in our lives.
You see, I’ve been into the practice of gratitude living for a long time, and it has changed my life. I’ve realized there is a distinction about having an attitude of gratitude, and to practice intentional gratitude by creating a non-negotiable space for gratitude in your family.
According to research from Dr. Robert Emmons, practicing gratitude has proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it also increases feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions.
Therefore, I would love to share with you 3 tangible ways to practice gratitude living that I teach my clients and practice with my family. I hope that it will bring inspiration for you to start experimenting with it!
1. Three Moments of Gratitude Exercise: Every night before closing your eyes scan through your day and identify those moments that were special, and meaningful to you. There is always positive in your day, but sometimes we don’t see it.
This is an opportunity for you to notice and express true appreciation for what it brings to your life. At first, I recommend to do it in writing for 21 days until you create a habit, and later it will become easier to say it out loud. As an example, you can start with small things such as drinking a cup of coffee in the morning or big things such as a promotion at work or a bonding moment with your child. The intention is to pinpoint and prioritize the positives before ending your day.
Result: You will create a strong habit of gratitude and will end your day with a positive note, instead of thinking about your urgent to-do list items that may bring lots of worry, anxiety and sleepless nights.
2. One Gratitude Question at family dinner: After being thankful for the food we get to eat, practice a habit of asking each family member to express that one thing that they are grateful for today.
Result: It will bring a habit of slowing down, reflecting through the day, sharing with each other about experiences that are important to them, opening up to meaningful conversations and bonding experiences.
3. Storytime around gratitude with your little ones: Read books that explain and emphasize the importance of being thankful for the things we currently have in our lives. Let’s instil in our little ones the habit of focusing their attention on what we have, instead of comparing ourselves with others and focusing of what we don’t have.
Result: In my humble opinion, the concept of gratitude living should be introduced early on to kids. It is the foundation of a way of living that will prepare them to face the negative bombardment in our society, and allow them to reframe their thinking into what really is important in life and what will give them joy.
I hope my two cents plants a seed of self reflection, and creates awareness to practice gratitude living. I assure you that it will make a difference in your daily life!