Gratitude is the positive recognition of benefits received. To put it another way, gratitude is the act of being thankful when the situation calls for it. Gratitude is also considered one of the most prized human virtues. According to Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Professor of Philosophy, and President of the University of Haifa, gratitude ranked up there with happiness, joy, curiosity, love and hope in what he calls the “sweetest emotions.”
A habit is something you do without thinking and possibly the greatest exercise in self- control. Whether the habit is good or bad, it still comes down to exercising self-control when it comes to maintaining or creating a new habit. If you want to create a new habit, you have to want to do it and have discipline.
The benefits of a gratitude journal
In a Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness done by University of California, Davis, those that kept a gratitude journal for the 21-day gratitude study reported feeling more optimistic, had fewer physical symptoms, exercised more regularly, felt more empathetic and more willing to offer emotional support to others.
Use your gratitude journal
Keep it simple. A success strategy that works for many is to create a brief list of the top three to five things in which you are most grateful at the end of each day. For this, you will only need a small pocket sized notebook and pen. IPhone users can install the gratitude journal app by Happier.com. This app, which is one of the most popular free apps for the iPhone, allows users to upload photos, rate the day and e-mail daily entry to others. Reviewers say it is simple and fun to use.
Hold yourself accountable. If you hold yourself accountable for completing your gratitude journal every night before bed, throughout your day you will begin to recognize the moments and things that make you happy or bring you joy and a sense of appreciation. The recognition of these small moments as they occur is the link to an increased sense of well-being. Those little things we take for granted and pass by each day are often times the things, if acknowledged, that add to improved happiness.
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