Spiritual seekers name Gratitude as one of the qualities which raise our vibration and bring us closer to Enlightenment.
I like that idea. However, today, in this article, I am writing about gratitude as a modest but helpful way to boost our energy and self-esteem.
No matter what life has handed us, gratitude helps us to feel warm, positive and hopeful. When it comes from others, we feel appreciated and supported. When we give it to ourselves, we feel worthy, encouraged and whole. Remembering to focus on gratitude is a simple and uplifting practice that helps us to appreciate who we are and also helps to build our self-esteem.
Martin Seligman, Ph.D. of Authentic Happiness identified gratitude as one of 24 character strengths named in his book, Authentic Happiness. He describes people who have the strength of gratitude as always aware of the good things that happen to them. In addition, he says that they never take good things for granted and always take the time to express their thanks.
According to Seligman, gratitude like any strength, may be stronger in some people and weaker in others. In my work, I often ask others what they appreciate in their lives. Occasionally, some may not have much to say.
Clearly, even though they would like to, they are not seeing all that is good in their world and in themselves. Luckily, they can learn to think a little more positively. In fact, they can actually increase their capacity for gratitude. We all can. It just takes motivation and practice.
Here’s one way I encourage you to make this positive change.
I suggest starting a daily gratitude journal which helps you get in touch with what is going right in your life and what you like about yourself. This practice not only helps you to develop a greater awareness of the positives in your life but also can help identify what you value most about yourself.
Try it. Start you own Gratitude Journal. Get a notebook that looks and feels appealing to you. Every day, in this journal write down at least 5 things you appreciate in your life. Some days, you may have ten to twenty items on your list. Other days, it may be difficult to come up with the recommended five.
Keep it up for one month and then, another. Eventually, you will find that you actually look forward to sitting down to think about your day and your life, and appreciate all the positives.
ACTION STEP: In addition to a Gratitude Journal, keep a separate list of things you really like about yourself. Be sure to include qualities, behaviors, actions, attitudes and anything else you find valuable. The list can never be too long. Place this list where you can easily see it. Read it every day. Let yourself celebrate the things you appreciate about yourself. When you think about it, you really are quite wonderful!
I would love to read your comments below.