5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

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If there was a drug with no negative side effects that helped you eat healthier, exercise more, experience less depression, and sleep better, how long would it last in the pharmacy?  We would flock to doctors for prescriptions.  The pharmaceutical company would have a hit.

It may not be a drug, but gratitude may be as important to your health as nutrition.   Let’s look at some of the benefits.  People described as thankful tend to:

  •             Eat healthier
  •             Develop stronger immune systems
  •             Experience more energy
  •             Demonstrate optimism and mental acuity
  •             Cope with stress better
  •             Describe life with high satisfaction
  •             Exercise regularly
  •             Solve difficult mental challenges easier
  •             Have deeper friendships
  •             Sleep better
  •             Have increased self-worth and self-esteem
  •             Show increased productivity
  •             Enjoy work and perform better on the job

There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person. -Joyce Meyer

Successful people practice gratitude.  After all, I don’t see how you can be called successful if you aren’t happy and thankful for all life has to offer.

Here are five ways to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”:

1.  Write it down.

Keep a gratitude journal.  Try it for 30 days.  Be specific about what you are thankful for.  Watch how your thoughts develop over time.  You may start out simply, but when you add stories and color, it becomes more powerful.

When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. -Dalai Lama

2.  Talk about it.

Sharing what you are thankful for isn’t just for Thanksgiving.  Make it a habit to talk about what you are grateful for all year long.  It will reinforce your feelings.

The Last Handwritten Letter

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The other day I wrote about the power of the handwritten note.  It’s a fading art.  In a growing digital universe, it’s rare to receive a scripted letter any more.  (As a tip for marketers or for anyone who craves differentiation, it’s a great way to stand out.)

Generations from now, what will be left of our writing?  I’m not sure.  I’ve had friends unexpectedly pass away and wished I still had some of the emails that were routinely deleted.  You could argue that today’s technology will ensure the endurance of the written word.  That’s also true.  With the ease of copying files and digital lockers, we won’t likely lose a manuscript to history.  Perhaps the casual email and note, which at the time seems insignificant, is in a different category.  I think much of what appears mundane at the time will be lost.