We hear a lot about being more grateful and how it can change our outlook on life. How can you do this? I was listening to a podcast the other day and it mentioned that there was a study done by a team of researches at the University of Indiana that showed if you just wrote down three things each day/evening that you were grateful for, for 21 days that you would increase your level of optimism. (See link below for article referencing this study)
Over the past several years I have practice a habit of stating out loud three things I am grateful for each day as I drive to work. I turn off the radio and ponder various things I am grateful for and then pick three for the day and state them out loud.
Recently, after doing a bit of reading on the study of being grateful I began a practice of sitting quietly with my eyes shut for three minutes and stating all of the things I am grateful for out loud. At first, I thought three minutes was a long time, but now it passes so quickly that I am going to move my time to five minutes. I have read about people who do this for an hour or more and would think “how could on do this” but now I am starting to think differently.
What changed? I have found that this practice gives me a sense of being grounded in what I really believe and what I am truly grateful for. By taking more time to be grateful I have to think more and have been able to dig deeper in my heart instead of just scratching the surface of gratefulness. I think of things that I never would have thought I would think of and then can take a few moments to realize what my life would be like without them and how grateful I am for them.
I feel good and I feel more connected with myself and what I value. I also am beginning to see that developing a practice of gratefulness is having a positive affect on who I desire to be.
If you have not considered this habit or tried it, I encourage you to try the 21 day challenge of being grateful.