Gratitude + Lists = Daily gratitude, gratitude journaling, gratitude lists – whatever works for you.
Gratitude + Lists = Daily gratitude, gratitude journaling, gratitude lists.
Gratitude is the act of giving thanks, and showing our appreciation.
Lists are really cool things to help us keep track of what we need to do, what we love, what we want for Christmas, or even what joy and happiness we may have found in our day.
Practicing daily gratitude is something many of us are already familiar with.
Our gratitude lists are more than just a pleasant trend. Positive psychology provides the science behind the positive life impact of this daily practice.
In 1998 Dr. Martin Seligman began the ground-shifting journey of positive psychology. His proven approaches are applied to support active and returning service men and women, whole communities, and are integral in large organisational and global approaches towards a better world.
And they can make a difference to our personal development.
Dr. Seligman’s take on the gratitude list has been found to lower depression and increase happiness at follow ups three months, and six months after participating in the exercise for a week.
Of course, better still to keep up the habit!
Positive psychology’s ‘What-Went-Well’ of daily gratitude is just one of the practical exercises to create a life of happiness and well-being.
Let’s take a closer look.
The one-two-three of ‘What-Went-Well’ invites us to:
Come up with three things that went well each day.
This is a search for fun, joy, pleasure, appreciation, kindness. The three things do not need to be large-scale life changing moments. In fact the exercise helps us to find the small joys in our life, and to find them more often.
Document the three things digitally or on paper.
Why not just think it through? Our brain works in a different way when we stop and write. We focus more on the task. We are more likely to see remember and recall our grateful moments when we document these.
Capture why each of the three things went well.
In a second column, note down why the moment or experience went well. What helped create this? What joy and kindness did others share? How did you create or contribute to the circumstances to find happiness at this time? This step builds our savoring and deepening of the event.
Friends have spoken about increasingly seeing more positives each day as they become regular collectors. I’ve enjoyed going back over my journal, for fun and when I’m in a more challenging place.
Gratitude journaling ‘What-Went-Well’ is something we can all do.
A sure path to reduced depression and increased happiness, I’ll have a go at that!
Three things, ten minutes, each night.
Simple. Easy. Life changing.
Adapted from my speech presented at Robina Sunrise Toastmasters, Project 2: Organize Your Speech.
Seligman, M.E.P (2011) Flourish. Atria Paperback, New York.