“You can look in the mirror and find a million things wrong with yourself. Or you can look in the mirror and think, ‘I feel good, I have my health, and I’m so blessed.’ That’s the way I choose to look at it.” Isla Fisher Thank you is a word that we hear much too often. I had not given it much thought until I decided to do my thesis in gratitude. I only picked it because I love positive psychology and I was told by my professor to narrow down my thesis to one emotion. I picked gratitude. I must say, I learned a lot from writing my thesis. What started as a requirement for my university changed my life. Gratitude is almost medicinal. It can considerably improve our lives. So how do we fill our gratitude jar?
- Thank your creator: One could not thank the creator of this universe enough for what has been bestowed upon us. The mesmerizing beauty of the sun at dusk or dawn is breathtaking. We would not exist on this earth without the sun’s energy and warmth. A little bit of sun elevates our mood significantly. The moon – the perfect and the imperfect beauty, a little mysterious as it makes us wait for its arrival, bringing coolness and romance.
- Love and respect yourself: Yes, charity begins at home and one must love and respect themselves before they embark on a gratitude journey. Acknowledge your strengths. Don’t be shy to say it out loud. Look back at all the proud moments in your life and rejoice it. Celebrate your victory.
- Thank your significant other: I forget to do this too unless I remind myself. Thank your spouse for all the wonderful things they do for us, even the small things like getting you a glass of water. Write to them. Handwritten notes have not lost their charm even in the internet era. Show your respect for your significant other in front of your children. Cherish the moment that you spend with them.
- Tell your children how much they mean to you (if you have any): I have always given my children chores and they are expected to do it every day. I have made it a point to thank them after they do their chores. One day, my daughter pointed out that I notice when they have not done their chores but not when they have unless they do it in front of my eyes. It struck me that I must acknowledge what they do even if they are expected to do it. I say thank you for their effort hoping they will thank the people around them even if they are doing something they are expected to do.
- Your parents/siblings: I am a family person and I am extremely grateful for them. I come from a family culture where it is not normal to thank your parents or your siblings for what they have done for you. Your gratefulness is exhibited through your actions and not words and so it is hard for me to thank my parents and my sibling for everything they are. But whatever your way of showing gratitude, do it as it will make you so much happier and enrich your life. Forgive them for anything they may have done in the past. Value the prominence of their presence in your life and understand how different your life would be without their love and care.
Be grateful for your health. If you can see, hear, talk, stand and walk you are already blessed. Write in your gratitude journal about your health and what a blessing it is to have good health and healthy children. Showing gratitude for everything around you also showers you with better health. A growing body of research suggests that grateful people are happier and healthier. Gratitude promotes emotional well-being. It is like the chicken and egg story. It is a mystery, are people who show gratitude healthier or are people who have poor health not showing enough gratitude.
There is much more you can add to your gratitude jar. Make it a habit to write a gratitude journal on all the things you are grateful for. It will change your life like it changed mine. You will be happier and maybe healthier.
Hamna Siddique MS, CCII, CLC is a coach specializing in career, business, and leadership coaching. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of over fifteen years and her two children. Website: www.hamnasiddique.com, Email: email@example.com. ©2019 Goldbridge Coaching LLC | All Rights Reserved |