The gratitude exercise I am talking about is simply taking some time on a regular basis to think about who and what you are grateful for in your life. Write down what comes to your mind. The writing helps to be more conscious of the thought, it helps you to experience the gratitude fully. Don´t spare the details, that is where life is richest and they will often make you smile during the exercise already. But the gratitude exercise can be way more than an enjoyable amusement. It can change your life profoundly and here are a few reasons why.
Gratitude is associated with happiness and a state of well-being. Throughout cultures and religions gratefulness is considered a noble and desirable disposition. Giving and receiving a heartfelt “Thank you” just feels good. At least I don’t recall seeing a troubled face on someone experiencing gratitude. So we all have an idea that gratitude might be good on a personal level as well as in society as a whole. But is there rigorous research to back this up?
There is a lot of talk about gratitude and gratefulness here. But what is gratitude actually?
Three years ago, motivated by the findings on gratefulness in the field of positive psychology, we started writing a gratitude journal. Each day we would write down at least five things that we were feeling grateful for. Soon this became a habit and we noticed how this exercise transformed the way we looked at the world.