What are you grateful for today? There are many reasons to be grateful in troubled times just ask the woman who beat cancer last year and is grateful she can still hug her grand-kids today.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. Emmons is the author of the book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Gratitude comes in all forms from simply appreciating the things that we are given. Many people keep a gratitude journal writing 3-5 things daily that they are grateful for each day. Giving thanks is great for mental wellness and help us all reap what we benefit in life.
How to keep a gratitude journal
1. Purchase a journal just for writing down the things you are grateful for and make it a common practice to write what makes you thankful every day.
2. Write 3-5 things every day that will remind you of the gifts, benefits and grace you have received each day. Write down all the good things you enjoyed that day.
3. In your daily writing don’t forget to take time to reflect on the ordinary events in your life, your personal attributes, and the people you are blessed to have in your life that add to your gratefulness.
4. Don’t forget the lessons you have learned from bad experiences, when you remember where you once were and how far you have came since then you can see clearly how much you can be grateful.
5. According to The Greater Good by Berkeley, the Naikan technique of meditation encourages a person to ask themselves three questions: “What have I received from ________?”, “What have I given to _______?”, and “What troubles and difficulty have I caused ______?”
6. Record unexpected surprises, don’t overdo it, if you are not normally an every day journal writer then set aside 3 days a week to jot down the things you are grateful for this week.
7. Focus on people in your gratitude not just material things.
Take the gratitude quiz to find out if you are truly grateful or take things for granted.