Expressing and acknowledging gratitude has many benefits to the over all well-being of a person. In November 2016, I wrote “Thanks”giving: not just for holidays for The Rubicon. In the story I states why people should put in effort to recognize the things they are grateful for. Following this research, I want to provide people with ways to show or acknowledge what they are grateful for.
- A great way to recognize the things in your life that make you happy, and that you are glad to have is by keeping a gratitude journal. The Greater Good Science center at UC Berkeley recommends keeping it simple by writing 1-2 times a week in your journal. They also recommend writing about people rather than things that you are grateful for, and to give detail about things rather than making a list of things that you are grateful for. Surprises, the site says, are something to make sure you write about. Writing these things helps you to acknowledge the positive things, but a hidden benefit is having the journal to keep. At a time where you are not feeling particularly grateful, it can help to review the journal and remember what you were or are grateful for. If you are struggling to find something to write about try one of these prompts. Try UC Berkeley’s online gratitude challenge and journal, called Thnx4.
- Another good way to show what you are grateful for is by writing thank you letters, emails or texts, when someone does something that you appreciate. You can even let them know in person or return the favor, anything to show that you see and like what they have done for you. Just like with gratitude journals, giving thanks doesn’t have to be about physical things. It is appreciated and encouraged to write a thank you not when someone buys or gives you a gift. However, both parties benefit when thanks is given for something that someone did and how it made the person feel. When you recognize that someone has done something that made you feel good or appreciated, acknowledge it and do not hesitate to put it into words through a note.
- Volunteering is another way to realize what you are grateful for. Volunteer to help people in your community who are less fortunate than you are. Not only are you benefiting those around you, you are reminded of the things in your life that you have to be grateful for. If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity around you, in order to give back and realize your gratitude go to Volunteer Match, it is a website that will help you find paces to volunteer near you.
These are just three ways in which you can express your gratitude, but any way in which you recognize the people and things in your life that you are grateful for will benefit your well being. So, write a letter, keep a journal, volunteer, or anything else that you feel will help you see what you have in your life that you appreciate, because it is important to recognize them.