“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
For too long, we’ve taken gratitude for granted.
Yes, “thank you” is an essential, everyday part of family dinners, trips to the store, business deals, and political negotiations. That might be why so many people have dismissed gratitude as simple, obvious, and unworthy of serious attention.
But that’s starting to change. Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
- Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
- Higher levels of positive emotions;
- More joy, optimism, and happiness;
- Acting with more generosity and compassion;
- Feeling less lonely and isolated.
At the beginning of every day for the next 60 days, think of 1 or more things that you are grateful for. Where appropriate share your insights with someone else.
At the end of the week, ask yourself what difference it has made doing this practice. What have you learned about yourself and how could you use this going forward?