According to Robert Emmons—editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology and author of Thanks! - How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, "grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent, while keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy".
What is a gratitude?
They are usually two sides of gratitude. First is stopping for a moment and appreciating things around us. By taking a moment, we can identify lots of positive things in our life which we normally overlook as a result of our busy lifestyle. The second side is realising the good things in our lives are gifts or blessings from god or universe, whether big or small which have purpose to achieve good fortune and opportunities in our lives.
Sometimes in our everyday rush we loose a touch with beautiful things around us. It might be simple things such as tasty food on our table or beautiful view during morning walk in the countryside. It can also be found in spirit lifting conversation with our friend.
Gratitude is a choice, where we can choose to be grateful, pass our gratitude on others and make the world little bit more caring and better place to live.
How do we practise and increase our gratitude?
First of all we can pause for a moment and start noticing things around us. We can admire vibrant colours of leaves in the sun or even appreciate rain, so important for nourishing plants around us. We can welcome quietness of the night or be in awe of birds symphony in the dawn.
By writing things down we are grateful for in our journal, we can record uplifting moments in our everyday life. Our world becomes less daunting, mundane place. We become more emphatic to people around us and appreciate achievement of others.
Gratitude can alter our perception of the world. With grateful heart we see more positive world, full of opportunities and generosity. We become less worried, frustrated or stressed about things around us. We slow down a bit and trust that everything happens for a reason and we gain hope that things will work out. We realise that we have enough and are enough.
Little tip: By writing things down in your journal, don't limit gratitude to the same things day by day. Be more creative and open your eyes to the new experiences. Be more specific when recording grateful moments e.g. instead of I am grateful for my mother, I write I am grateful for a conversation with my mum over internet, regardless the distance we had a great laugh about her walk in the local sport centre.