Research on gratitude is popping up everywhere as positive psychology influences academia and business culture. Companies like Spiritual Gangster, a clothing company that blends hindu wisdom with modern culture, are turning to feel good ad campaigns and slogans filled with inspirational quotes and hashtags. At the heart of this conversation is the concept of gratitude.
Being grateful for the little things in life can help people overcome adversity, build stronger relationships and to lead to a more optimistic attitude.
Keeping a gratitude journal, counting your blessings, writing a thank you note to someone, or merely smiling at a stranger can create a small shift in short order. One study found that people who wrote about gratitude versus irritation felt happier in just 10 weeks. Another showed you can rewire the brain in 21 days with 2 minutes of gratitude practice.
If that is true, imagine what one minute of gratitude a day for the rest of your life could do? Go beyond the barista who makes your coffee and think about the people picking the coffee beans in the fields of Kenya or Nicaragua. Try to put a positive twist on a negative event like failing a test. Can you find strength in the vulnerability of failure? You certainly learn more when you are forced to overcome adversity.
- Thank the elements – water, fire, earth and air
- Consider the lessons you’ve learned through the hard times in your life
- Send love to a family member, mentor or an animal who raised your spirits
- Thank your body for allowing you to get you where you need to go
- Say grace before a meal
- Say Ho’oponopono – I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you – to heal someone who is sick from a distance