Practising Gratitude

04.08.2016 |

Episode #10 of the course Financial wellbeing: How to worry less about money by Maureen McGuinness

 

Our natural tendency is to focus on what we lack rather than what we have. Ads and external influences encourage the mindset which focuses on what’s lacking in our lives. We’re also told by the world around us that “growth is good” and that by focussing on accumulating more, we’re helping to grow the economy.

 

The science of gratitude

Research from the early 2000s found evidence that gratitude practice can enhance a person’s wellbeing, increase happiness and life satisfaction, help cope with adversity, and strengthen social bonds.

 

The gratitude movement

Websites that share individuals’ stories of gratitude have exploded over the last five years. When you look at sites like The Gratitude Journal what’s striking is the level of gratitude for simple things: a loving partner, a warm bed, and a sunset.

 

Cultivating gratitude

You can start being more grateful immediately. There’s no right or wrong way to be grateful but if you’re stuck, here are a few ways to start:

  1. Identify something that you’re grateful for upon waking. Whether you’re brushing your teeth or taking a shower first thing, consider one thing that you’re grateful for at the start of your day.

  2. Create a daily gratitude journal. Note down at least one thing that you’re grateful for every day.

  3. Focus on three highlights of your day. At the end of each day, think of three things that you’re grateful happened that day.

  4. Send a thank you note. You can send a text, email, or even call someone who has contributed to your life in order to say thank you. Chance are, that someone will not be expecting it, so as well as brightening up your day, you can use a regular gratitude practice to brighten up someone else’s day.

The best aspect of being grateful is that it’s impossible to feel sad at the same time. Any time that you’re feeling grateful, you’re focusing on what you do have instead of what you lack. When you focus on what you have, you’re less likely to use retail therapy to make yourself feel good.

 

Recommended book

“Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert

 

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