Why Cultivate Gratitude?
There are many scientifically proven physical, psychological and social benefits of doing so.
How to cultivate gratitude
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Write regular thank-you notes
- Meditate on things you're grateful for
- Focus on positive intentions of others
- Teach gratitude to children
- Consider your mortality
- Get regular inspiration from our email newsletter!
Gratitude cultivation can start with daily reminders, or journal entries, but it is ultimately the natural state of a mind at peace. Cultivating that natural state is a longer journey. David Brooks shows how some people get there.
The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be. Unexpectedly, there are transcendent moments of deep tranquillity. For most of their lives their inner and outer ambitions are strong and in balance. But eventually, at moments of rare joy, career ambitions pause, the ego rests, the stumbler looks out at a picnic or dinner or a valley and is overwhelmed by a feeling of limitless gratitude, and an acceptance of the fact that life has treated her much better than she deserves.
Those are the people we want to be.
Numerous studies have already shown that people who are more materialistic are generally less satisfied with their standards of living, their relationships and their lives as a whole. With that being the case, the researchers wondered if anything could moderate that relationship and in effect make materialistic people more satisfied with their lot.
To test their theory, the trio analyzed the results of a specially designed questionnaire sent to 249 university students. The main results were as expected. “People who pursue happiness through material gain tend to feel worse, and this is related to negative appraisals of their satisfaction with life,” they confirmed.
However, their results also demonstrated that gratitude, and to a lesser extent, positive affect, both ‘buffer’ the negative effects of materialism, in effect making more grateful individuals more satisfied with their lives.
From the Onion:
Man Filled With Gratitude At Sight Of Other Customer In Nice Restaurant Wearing Jeans
Grateful to nobody or nothing she told me. Just grateful. She explained how each day she takes time out to think of five things that she is grateful for in life. She told me it generally tended to put her in good humour, and helped her think more kindly about the world. "You should try it," was her unasked for advice. "And it is not a competition," she warned me. "It can be small things and big things and they can change as often as you like. Don't take it too seriously," I was told. "Just do it."
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
Pretend it's all one moment. Whatever it is, it's already done. You have retired, they have died, the glass broke. Now appreciate it all.
– Ze Frank ∞
The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.
– Thornton Wilder ∞
True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience."
– Oprah Winfrey ∞