Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Many countries set aside a day for giving thanks. In the U.S., we
call this day Thanksgiving, when many people get together with their family and friends for dinner and talk about what makes
them grateful. “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step
forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”— Brian TracyDr. Robert Emmons, the
author of Thanks! shares with us his nine tips for actually becoming more grateful and, consequently, more happy.
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1. Keep a gratitude journal
Sit down daily and write about the things for which you are grateful. Start
with whatever springs to mind and work from there. Try not to write the same thing every day, but rather, but explore your
The way things are now may seem better in the light
of bad memories. Don’t forget the bad things that have happened; the contrast may encourage gratefulness.
3. Ask yourself three questions
Choose someone you know and ask yourself what you have received from them,
what you have given to them, and what trouble you have caused them. This may lead to discovering you owe others more than
4. Use your senses
Eighty percent of people say they are thankful for their
health. If so, then get back in touch with the simple human fact of being able to sense what is out there. Use your vision,
touch, taste, and smell to experience the world, and be thankful you can.
5. Use visual reminders
big obstacles to being grateful are simply forgetting and failing to be mindful. So leave a note of some kind reminding you
to be grateful. It could be a post-it, an object in your home, or another person to nudge you occasionally.6. Swear
an oath to be more grateful
Promise on whatever you hold holy that you’ll be more grateful. Sounds crazy? There’s
a study to show it works.
7. Think grateful thoughts
Called ‘automatic thoughts’ or self-talk in cognitive therapy, these are the
habitual things we say to ourselves all day long. What if you said to yourself: “My life is a gift” all day long?
Too cheesy? OK, what about: “Every day is a surprise.”8. Acting grateful is being grateful
Say thank you, become more grateful. It’s that simple.
9. Be grateful to your enemies?
It’ll take a big creative leap to be thankful to the people you most despise. But big creative leaps are just
the kind of things likely to set off a change in yourself. Give it a try.Now, the last tip may be hard, but holding a grudge or being
angry or frustrated with another person is only hurting you. So as Dr. Emmons suggests, give it a try.It may also be fun this Thanksgiving to make up your own list of things for which you are grateful.
Ask every person sitting around the table to mention something that happened to them that was not so pleasant and why they
can be grateful today. Maybe experiencing bad things can make us more grateful for the good things that happen to us.Reference:Emmons, R.
2007) Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make Your Happier. New York, NY: Houghton-Mifflin Company.