Gratitude is extremely powerful.

It’s common to overlook the importance of a heartfelt “thank you.” Even though we like being on the receiving end of gratitude, we often forget how important it is to give it to others. This tip is not only a reminder to give thanks to people around us, but to also take daily moments to appreciate ourselves, and our accomplishments so far. Ever have trouble falling asleep at night because you’re focused on how things could be better? Bedtime is a great time to switch our thinking to gratitude for something we achieved that day, even if it’s a small thing. These thankful thoughts will calm our minds and put us in a pleasant state, while setting up our subconscious to move towards positivity. One caveat, this attitude is not to say that we should just be thankful for what we have. Gratitude is not about settling for less than we’re capable of. In fact, acknowledging things we’ve done well can actually get the ball rolling to do more things well. For instance, if we reflect on how we made a really delicious family dinner and felt connected to the ones we love, we’ll feel joyful and encouraged to do it again and maybe add to it. If instead we fixate on how we over-cooked the potatoes, we may figure out how to make better potatoes but not be motivated to do it again.

Take action: Having a gratitude jar is a great way to remind yourself of what to be thankful for. Step 1: Reflect on a moment, and pull out something about it that you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be a good moment, in fact a good challenge is to pull gratitude from a difficult situation. Step 2: Write the appreciation on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar. Repeat this regularly and review the contents of the jar frequently. And don’t forget to express this gratitude to others involved.

Inspired by Kristin Wong’s Lifehacker article, Why Gratitude Makes You a Happier Person.

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