When we are told to "say thank you” for this and “be grateful” for that, it's more than just having good manners. The science is now telling us that when we stop, pause, reflect on what we are grateful for and express our gratitude, it actually lifts our mood. It makes us feel a little happier. It’s an everyday win/win. Not only will people think you’ve got great manners, you’ll feel happier when you can reflect on what you’re grateful for.
The Science of Gratitude
Here’s how gratitude works, have a look:
Your Gratitude Project
There’s two things you can try. The first one involves a little writing:
This next one is a little daily gratitude exercise that just requires you to sit and think:
Ten Deep Breaths - Expressing Gratitude
- Get yourself into a relaxed, comfortable position sitting on your chair. (heads on desks is fine)
- Gently close your eyes or, if you like, lower your eyes to a spot on the desk or floor in front of you.
- We’re going to focus on our breathing. Your inhale, a pause, your exhale and a pause. Notice your breathing now.
- As you do this exercise, if a thought pops into your head, acknowledge it and let it go.
- Take 10 deep, slow, long breathes.
- Maintaining the rhythm of your breathing, I want you to take a moment to think about three things that you have been grateful or thankful for in the past 24 hours.
- Consider each of them in turn and think about why you are grateful.
- See if you can identify someone to thank for one of the things you’re grateful for. Make a commitment to thank them.
- Acknowledge your calmness, wiggle your toes, and wiggle your fingers. Gently open your eyes and stretch.
Why Giving is Good for the Soul - Professor Lea Waters https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/why-giving-is-good-for-the-soul