Gratitude has been linked to a wide range of benefits across different domains of our lives. It has been shown to improve our mood, strengthen our relationships, combat depression and anxiety, and even enhance our health. We feel a sense of gratitude when we recognize the presence of something good in our life and recognize that the source of this good thing lies at least partly outside of ourselves.
So how can clinicians help clients foster happy, meaningful lives when the world is constantly throwing chaos, challenges, and uncertainty their way? Jonah Paquette, PsyD., author of Happily Even After
, shares five simple ways to help clients cultivate gratitude straight from his book.
5 Easy Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
- Three good things: Write down three things that went well each day. To make it extra powerful, try to never repeat an item on your list.
- Look how far you have come: Reflect on some of the more difficult or challenging times in life and how you managed to overcome them. Notice the contrast with your current circumstances and what this does to your perspective.
- Write a letter of thanks: Write and deliver a heartfelt letter of thanks to someone who has helped you along the way, but whom you have never properly thanked.
- Express thanks: At least once each day, go out of your way to thank someone who has done something you appreciate.
- Make a gratitude jar: At the end of each day, write down one thing you are thankful for that day. At the end of the week, or month if you prefer, empty the contents of your jar and relive all the sources of gratitude.
For more daily happiness exercises, check out Jonah Paquette’s Happily Even After: Daily Practices to Recover Joy After Hardship, Heartache, and Heartbreak