Gratitude is one of those parts of our world that is free to everyone, prized by those recognized to carry it, and yet exceptionally easy to skip over in the daily rush of life.
The data has come back pointing to gratitude as a key to reduce burnout, materialism, and increase general happiness.
We, as a culture, are good at critical analysis. This actually functions like a human’s superpower. This type of critical analysis also prizes efficiency. That is where gratitude often gets squeezed out. There is not much in expressing gratitude that is efficient, but it is good. While it may not be completely efficient, thankfulness can change a life.
Here are three actions that help grow gratitude; in those who use them, and in those who are acted upon.
1. Handwritten notes:
While there are not many points of efficiency to writing something by hand to be read and discarded, the stickiness of this type of communication is beyond compare. There is a personal touch that comes along with a handwritten note.
If you are like most of us, you are not a huge fan of your handwriting. This doesn’t matter, outside of being readable. Handwritten notes are so rare in our culture that the personal act of reaching out in that format will fundamentally separate you from your competition. It will also make the person’s day who is being thanked.
2. Daily reminders:
If you write a note on a post-it and stick it to your mirror, or if you keep a thankfulness journal or merely take a weekly walk and designate the time to remember what you have to be thankful for… these consistent reminders can keep the busy-ness of daily life from distracting us from the myriad of reasons we have to say, “thank you.”
There is not a person living in the USA who doesn’t have a leg up on the majority of humans living in our world today. Comparisons confuse us, and a daily or weekly reminder can keep our eyes on the ball.
3. Small kind actions:
We typically consider this type of action requires money, through “pay it forward” stories, and the like. Genuine small actions of kindness rarely require money. There are a couple pieces that go into turning small kind actions into a habit.
With these two boundaries, you may be surprised at the opportunities daily life will open opportunities to act kindly toward someone. Give it a try; you might like it?!?
- Pay attention to others
- Take your time