Don’t wait until you feel thankful.
Say thankful things out loud anyway, and the feelings will follow.
Play the A,B,Cs of Gratitude game. (This works with a group and by yourself.) Say, “I’m thankful for (then name something that starts with the letter A).” Do the same with B and so on. Smiles, laughter, and thankfulness ensue!
Go deeper, if you want, by sharing WHY your picked your letter item.
Gratitude allows a person to:
- celebrate the present
- block toxic emotions (envy, resentment, regret, depression)
- be more stress-resilient, and
- strengthen social ties and self-worth.
Gratitude research is on-going by experts worldwide.
When gratitude fails
As easy as gratitude is to put into practice, there is one thing that can get in the way of it ‘going viral:’ Ingratitude. Emmons (2013) offers the following characteristics of ingratitude:
- excessive sense of self-importance
- unquenchable need for admiration and approval
- sense of entitlement
Some might recognize these as traits describing a narcissistic personality. wrote,
“Of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude.”Philosopher David Hume (1739)