Gratitude is underrated. We talk about it, write about it, and post about it on social media, but do we practice it? As life spins and passes by we often forget to pause and be grateful. Studies have shown that moments of true gratitude benefits our psychological and physical health.
The most effective way of creating new habits is by scheduling the new habit and repeating the habit daily. Here are some interventions that are helpful for creating new gratitude habits. Do these and begin to reap the benefits.
Gratitude letter A gratitude letter should be written to someone in your life that you are grateful to. The letter should include all the reasons why you are grateful and how this person has impacted your life in a positive way. You can then then choose if you want to send the letter or keep it stored away. Even if you do not send the letter your will reap the benefits of gratitude. However, if you can stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone, the gratitude will have a larger impact on yourself and the person you sent it to.
Daily diary A daily diary can be lengthy or short phrase. Your gratitude diary can be an entry of a paragraph or 3 short sentences addressing what or who you are grateful for.
Gratitude reminder Using technology is always your best bet. Set a reminder in your phone with three short things that you are grateful for. Use your calendar to set the event to repeat every morning. Every morning when you wake up you'll be reminded about what you are grateful for.
Speak out loud Yes, I know this might sound tacky, but speaking out loud is more effective than thinking. Once a day, announce to yourself in your car, in your room, in your office, what you appreciate about yourself and what you appreciate about someone else.
Gratitude password A while back I read a blog post on Huffpost about a person who achieved his goals by changing his password every month related to a goal that he had. This can be done with gratitude as well. Create gratitude passwords. These subliminal reminders will keep you grateful throughout the day. Don't save your password or you will lose out on remembering and typing what you are grateful for.
Reminder of relationship appreciation Reminding ourselves about our relationship appreciation and what we are grateful for in our partners is desperately overlooked. When you are deciding on your gratitude tasks, remember to include your appreciation and gratitude toward your partner and toward you and your partner as a unit. Maintaining relationship satisfaction and vitality is hard work, be grateful to you and your partner for what you have achieved.
Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, LMHC, CASAC is a licensed mental health counselor in NYC, where she provides individual counseling and intimacy counseling. You can contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more blog posts at www.mwr.nyc