Top 3 Tips for Cultivating Gratitude

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Top 3 Tips for Cultivating Gratitude

Gratitude | Noun: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

(Oxford Dictionary)

To end #NPW on a positive and solution-focused note, we are eager to share our thoughts on the importance of counting your blessings and setting yourself up for success. Research tells us that actively cultivating gratitude is associated with benefits for our sense of happiness (Seligman, et al. 2005), motivation (Grant et al. 2010) and relationships (Lambert et al. 2011). However, at the end of a tiring week it is very easy to be consumed by the monkey on our back telling us about what we failed to achieve or how busy our next week looks. By continuing to turn up the volume on the monkey’s voice, we begin to fade out the wonderful things that are going on around us.

We encourage you to view Friday afternoon as an opportunity to re-calibrate and turn the volume down on the monkey and shift your focus back to the things that you are grateful for. Below are some simple ways in which you can begin to cultivate gratitude and set yourself up for a successful and proactive week to come:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. One of our wonderful clients finds writing in a gratitude journal to count her blessings and recognise one key learning from ‘the week that was’ to be a positive way to close out the week. This is an excellent way to shift from a problem-focused to an appreciative and solution-focused state of mind.
  2. Engage in mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness by focusing your thoughts purely on the present moment, can be an effective way to declutter your mind. Mindfulness, whether it be through meditation, yoga or simply sitting at home on the living room floor, allows you to stop the noise and appreciate the things that are most meaningful.
  3. Say thank you! Every now and then we all think of someone who has had a positive impact on our lives. Do they know what impact they have had? When I am driving I sometime smile at the memory of my very patient driving instructor, and there are other days when I think back to the coffee-fuelled time and effort my Honours and Masters supervisors devoted to helping me achieve my degree. I also think that these were ‘noisy’ times when I probably didn’t take the opportunity to be in the present moment and truly thank these people for incredible impact they had. Every time you say ‘thank you’ on the inside, make sure the message is received on the outside. You will feel the benefits of gratitude and others will feel the benefits of being valued.

Enjoy your weekend! Try to set yourself a goal to cultivate gratitude and prepare yourself for a successful week to come.

For more information on cultivating gratitude see: In Praise of Gratitude (Harvard Health Publications, 2011)

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