This blog isn’t about me, but forgive me if I share some personal information in order to give it context.
I have a number of different “jobs.” I do coaching and speak to groups of advisors through my consulting firm. We provide website content, design, and related services through our digital marketing firm. I write weekly blogs for my newsletters and for Advisor Perspectives. I have another book in the works, which I have pitched to my publisher.
I enjoy each of these activities. I know I’m fortunate and am very grateful.
Which brings me to my first point.
The practice of gratitude
It took me a while to figure out that “being grateful” is different from “the practice of gratitude.”
You don’t have to follow a prescribed protocol to practice gratitude. Much has been written about how to do so. Here are some suggestions from Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside.
- Keep a “gratitude journal”
- Pick a time of the day to focus on things for which you are grateful
- Vary your gratitude strategy so it doesn’t become stale
- Express gratitude to others
While these are all good suggestions, I only do the second one.
Every day, as part of my morning ritual, I spend a few minutes reflecting on the things for which I’m grateful.
As a by-product of making the same time every day available to focus on gratitude, I find similar thoughts occur at other times of the day. For example, after a positive call with a client, instead of moving on to the next project, I’ll stop and think how lucky I am to have had that experience.
The benefits of gratitude
From personal experience, I can tell you that focusing on gratitude makes you a more positive person. It also has other well-researched benefits.
You can find a list of seminal studies on the benefits of gratitude here.
Here’s a summary of these benefits, provided by the Greater Good Science Center, at the University of California, Berkeley:
- Stronger immune system
- Less depression;
- More joy, optimism, and happiness
- Stronger relationships;
- Feeling less lonely and isolated.
If you aren’t spending a few minutes a day contemplating how grateful you are, you may be missing a golden opportunity.
Resource of the week
I highly recommend this article, by Sonja Lyubomirsky on how to practice gratitude.