in the field of psychology, the concept of gratitude has really risen to the surface. one of the things i love most about ryan is that he was on this train long before it was trendy and practices it daily in his own life. so a few weeks ago, when i had a book waiting for me in my inbox, i thought maybe i had been doing some tipsy online shopping. to my surprise, ryan had gifted me a book: the little book of gratitude – create a life of happiness and wellbeing by giving thanks by dr. robert a. emmons.
merriam webster defines gratitude as the state of being grateful: thankfulness.
sounds simple, doesn’t it? then why is it that it seems to be a brand new concept to so many?
this book does an outstanding job of just simplifying gratitude and making it an incredibly digestible concept.
i loved this book for a variety of reasons.
- it was an incredibly easy read
- it had several passages that resonated with me
- there were a variety of exercises or activities that i have put into place in my own life already where i have seen a shift in my disposition
- my clients can greatly benefit from a book like this
- it really made me stop to consider whether or not i had been practicing gratitude in a constructive and consistent way
i wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes and takeaways from this book.
“you are never too old, too young, too rich, too poor, to live gratefully. we can produce gratitude in any season of life. this is part of its appeal. as we create gratitude, a positive ripple effect is generated through every area of our lives, potentially satisfying some of our deepest yearnings – our desire for happiness, our pursuit of better relationships, and our ceaseless quest for inner peace, health, wholeness, and contentment.”
i like this idea because in working with my clients, i have seen with my own eyes that whether you are 8 or 80, you can learn something new, put it into practice and improve the quality of your life and the lives around you. who wouldn’t want to do that?
some of my favorite activities have been:
- count blessings, not sheep – every night for a week, spending 15 minutes writing about something you are grateful for. writing instead of simply thinking about it leads to a different, more significant level of processing.
- three good things – simply thinking about three things that went well for you yesterday and asking: why did they go well, how grateful did they make you feel and did you tell anyone about them. this helps to celebrate even the little things.
- write a gratitude letter – taking 30 minutes to write a one page letter to a person who you have not taken the time to thank properly for their impact in your life. ideally, you deliver the letter in person and read it out loud to them. this is both a lesson in gratitude and vulnerability.
there are several others i enjoyed but these three were my absolute favorite.
what ways do you practice gratitude? if you are looking to improve or simply get started, you can purchase the little book of gratitude here.