The art of being grateful

Thanksgiving is the best time to talk about the practice of gratitude and its benefits.

The purpose of a gratitude practice is to pay attention to the joyful events around us rather than ruminating on the negative. Unfortunately, this is more difficult than it sounds: perhaps you’ve noticed that unsolicited comments about your appearance remain in your memory far longer than compliments from those you love.

The practice of gratitude does not involve ignoring negative emotions and driving them deeper to be replaced with joy — rather, it allows us to see a more complete picture, to act in a more calm and balanced manner. Gratitude provides us with additional resources: during difficult times, we can remember the good things in our life to get us through.

Usually, it's easier for us to be grateful for the major life events; that's why we consider them major. However, the essence of a gratitude practice is to notice and pay attention to the little things — enjoying the sunny weather, a delicious breakfast and an outing with friends, not just a long-awaited vacation or promotion. In addition, gratitude practices help you recognize what brings you joy and what you would like to see in your life more often — and what you would be willing to give up.

Perhaps the easiest and best known way to introduce gratitude into your life is by keeping a special diary. There are no hard rules about how this should be done; you can write in it every day, week or month. Alternatively, you can simply keep one big ongoing list instead of daily entries and come back to it whenever you feel the need.

If you don't like writing practices, there’s another option: the diary can be replaced with a morning or evening ritual of gratitude. It is enough just to remember the pleasant things that happened to you during the day which you can feel grateful for. You don’t even need to say it out loud, you can simply think about it. 

Another way to practice gratitude is by giving thanks more often to the people in your life. It's not only about thanking people when they do something nice for you (although this is a great practice that we often forget about), but also telling loved ones how dear they are to you or how much they inspire you. You may have people in your life who you have long wanted to say this to.

Today, we want to thank you for reading this article. We hope you find it useful and inspiring to pay attention to the beautiful things in your life more often — big and small.

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