Gratitude Power-See the Difference in One Year

 

 

If you knew you could change your health, your wealth and the quality of life by writing just one daily thank you note would you do it? No matter what the research demonstrates, expression of gratitude expressed in hand written thank you notes continues to decline. There is not research to document the decline of verbal appreciation but from the tone of our culture it seems verbal gratitude could be diminishing as well. What happens to a culture that loses the gift of gratitude or appreciation?

Recently I heard of a gentleman who ended his third marriage, his business was floundering and his children displeased with him. To help him make the shift from negativity to positive emotions, someone suggested that he write one note of gratitude daily. The note could be sent to family, friends, co-workers, clients, vendors or people who had made a difference in his lifetime. The experiment results were astounding. This gentleman couldn’t believe his 15 minute a day exercise literally changed his life. He experienced greater positivity in his life, better relationships with his children as well as an increase in his business profits.

He is not the only one I have heard of who has received the benefits of gratitude. Recently a group of six women met in the Northland weekly for six months to share their stories of appreciation with one another. They would first write out their daily appreciation journal entries and then they would choose to read one of their favorite appreciation stories to the group. The increase in their overall satisfaction with life increased greatly. Some of the group members noted they were also experiencing deeper relational satisfaction as they were also making it a practice to share gratitude with someone else throughout the week in addition to the weekly group sharing. One woman also noticed that she didn’t stay in a place of overwhelm or anxiousness as long as she practiced daily appreciation. This stacking appreciation exercise continued to build each woman’s positive emotional capacity. The practice of appreciation and gratitude has become a part of their transformational journey.

Research indicates that audibly sharing the written appreciation with those around you positively shift your brain chemistry to reduce stress and anxiety, remaps your neuro-pathways and builds stronger inter-personal relationships.

When is the last time you shared gratitude with someone? Consider improving the quality of your relationships and emotional health by choosing one of the follow ideas this Thanksgiving season.

  • Begin with 30 days of gratitude expression to show yourself how easy it is to launch a new habit.
    • Make it easy on yourself and get the thank – you cards and stamps ahead of time.
    • Decide what time of day you want to write your card. Morning seems to prove the most generous appreciation.
  • Write a daily journal entry that reflects one thing you are grateful for that occurred during the day.
    • Get your journal and pen ready and choose when and where you want to write.
    • Create a relaxing setting so that you can savor the appreciation moment as you allow your pen to flow.
    • Note how the appreciation moment feels in your body. ls the stress diminishing?
  • Get a group of three to six people who want to grow their relational skills and emotional capacity. Intentionality births new behaviors and positive experiences.
    • Consider meeting on a regular basis to share the best appreciation entries of the week.
    • Community helps build stronger relational skills just by “being” together.
  • Daily let someone know how much you appreciate them through conversation. Look in their eye and express why you appreciate them.
    • Wait for their response to your gratitude, you might be surprised by their responses.

lf the above exercises seem daunting, try demonstrating a simple smile with someone you encounter throughout the day. Personally, I enjoy the practice of smiling at babies and small children. I stop and wait for their joy-filled expressions. I know when I share joy or appreciation with babies I am helping them grow their emotional capacity. Smiling regularly can be your positive contribution to the world. Just try it, an authentic smile births a return smile. Smiles are free and it is one thing that can unite us. Smiles are welcomed around the world in every culture.

Be intentional about letting those around you know why you are thankful for them and what they mean to you.

lf you want to know more about how to begin an Gratitude Group you can reach out for a free Gratitude Guide at info@raretransformation.com.

Coach Kim