Last week, we talked about the people in our lives we should be thankful for. This week, we’re going to delve a little deeper into gratitude – and the best ways to practice it.
Many people are grateful when someone does something kind for them – this is “reactive gratitude,” requiring others to take the initiative, to act first. What if, instead of waiting for others to act, we take the initiative, and be grateful for what we have? This is “creative gratitude,” and it is much more empowering than “reactive gratitude.”
Creative gratitude starts with:
• Active Appreciation – Take the time to look for things to appreciate, to be grateful for in your life. Things you may not have noticed, or thought about before. This leads to:
• Increased Value in Your Life Experience – when you appreciate something new – i.e., something more - about your daily experiences, the value of these experiences increases (since there is more you are aware of). Which gives you:
• Motivation for Increased Appreciation – as you continue to actively appreciate newly understood aspects of your life, as that life grows in meaning, you gain motivation to appreciate more and more. This puts you:
• In Control – of what life – your life – means to you. Unlike those who practice “reactive gratitude,” you are not dependent on others to act, to be kind, to validate – you are in charge, you are responsible for appreciating your life, your experiences, and the people who contribute to them.
Practicing creative gratitude provides you with increasing well-being, as you mine ever-more value and meaning from each day.
According to researchers at the Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
If you’re looking for a way to practice creative gratitude daily, there is a free application, available at the Apple app store, called “Grateful: A Gratitude Journal.” It’s easy to use.
What new appreciation, or insights, do you have about gratitude?
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Until next Wednesday -