How does feeling grateful make this happen? Our brains are pattern seeking machines that make predictions about a pattern recurring. When good things happen to us, we unconsciously predict more good things will happen in the future. That’s optimism. Recognizing that good things have happened is key. If good things (our goals) are on the horizon, we grow enthusiastic, energized, and determined.
What do I mean by “daily gratitude practice?” It can be as easy as keeping a tally every day of things that happened that day that you’re grateful for. A short bullet list will do. No need for an exhaustive review of the day’s events, elegant prose, a gold-edged journal, or a greeting card labeled “Thank You.” These expressions of gratitude aren’t delivered to anyone except your own consciousness.
Just pick three things you’re grateful for, write them down, and repeat this exercise tomorrow and the following 21 days. You will have created a daily practice and will start to recognize its benefits.
Here’s the list I scribbled last night:
Vet gave the dog a clean bill of health. Ear infection gone.
Hummingbird visited feeder outside office window
Apple pie with ice cream
You don’t have to limit yourself to three items but if your lists routinely run on and on, they may start to feel like a burden and you’ll stop. Keep it simple and keep doing it.
Your mother probably told you how important thank you’s are. Turns out she was right!