Being grateful is about more than the occasional thanks. It’s an attitude that helps you feel contented in even the most challenging of times
As gratitude has become more mainstream, the ways to practise it have become more varied. Writing down gratitudes is crucial, as the act of putting pen to paper fixes the gratitude more firmly in your long-term memory rather than simply thinking or saying it, and regular practice is where the benefits lie.
TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Write in a journal
If you like any excuse for new stationery there are a several gratitude journals. Try the Year Long Gratitude Journal (thegreengables.co.uk), The Daily Greatness Journal (dailygreatness.co.uk), a planner that helps you to organise your entire life and features gratitude prompts. Or Be Great Be Grateful, by Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham of design studio, Patternity, is a journal which encourages you to see the unseen in everyday life.
Send a letter
Robert Emmons found that writing letters expressing how thankful you are had a strong positive impact not only on the writer but also the person receiving the letter.
The Personalised Letters of Gratitude to Mum envelope book (andsotheymade.co.uk) makes a great gift. Little Notes of Gratitude Notecard Set (wearebreadandjam.co.uk) contains appreciative messages as well as space to add your own.
Do it digitally
What’s Good is a daily gratitude app that tracks your happiness over time and has a calming breath animation. Then there’s the Happijar app, a virtual jar where you store happy memories, ready to shake up, tip out and revisit on your phone, whenever you need a lift.
Take a snap
If writing it down doesn’t appeal, take pictures of things you’re grateful for. If you’d like to share, there are several gratitude hashtags #capturinggratitude #thisjoyfulmoment, #thehappynow and #savouringhappiness.
Turn to page 86 of December's The Simple Things for more on why saying thank you matters.