“Gratitude is wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”Rumi
There are times in life where negative emotions like stress, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, regret or guilt creep in and threaten to take over. These are the moments where gratitude throws us a lifeline to stay connected to what’s truly important to us.
If you’re someone who dreams of squeezing out every drop of sweetness life has to offer, you’ll want to pay more attention to gratitude.
It’s one of the simplest things you can do boost your feelings of happiness and wellbeing and even improve your physical health.
What gratitude research says
- Patients who expressed optimism/gratitude two weeks after an acute coronary event had healthier hearts
- Gratitude is connected with sleep quality, energy, feelings of capability, and reduced cellular inflammation
- Gratitude has been shown to buffer the effects of stress and depression
The researched benefits of gratitude are piling up, making it possibly one of the simplest ways to influence your wellbeing. In fact, according to Dr Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology and the science of wellbeing, if you could do only one thing to improve your health and happiness, expressing gratitude might be it.
There are many different ways of practicing gratitude, from contemplation to journalling to writing a gratitude letter.
Below are 20 questions to help you savour things you are grateful for in your life. (For extra points, do this with a loved one! Research shows that gratitude strengthens connections and breathes life into our relationships!)
- What was your proudest moment this year and why?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
- What are 3 of your favourite qualities about yourself that you’re grateful for?
- Who is someone who really listens when you talk? How does that affect you?
- What’s a stressor you’re grateful to have put behind you this year?
- Have you had a chance to help someone recently, and how did that make you feel?
- What small things do you do that you find extremely satisfying?
- What’s something you look forward to in the future?
- What’s something enjoyable you get to experience every day that you’ve come to take for granted?
- What’s a hard lesson that you were grateful to learn?
- What’s an aspect of your personality that you’re grateful for?
- How have you used your talents recently, and what have you enjoyed about doing that?
- What relationships are you grateful for?
- What’s one thoughtful thing someone did for you recently?
- What made you laugh or smile today?
- What life experience (good or bad) have you had that you’re grateful for?
- What’s something you’ve learned recently that has improved your life?
- What in nature inspires you and why?
- What insights and discoveries personally have you gained that you’re thankful for?
- What movie, book, blog, or article affected your life for the better recently?
Gratitude offers a way to embrace all that makes our lives what they are.
It can help you feel more intimate with life, more fulfilled and is the ultimate antidote to stress, fear and feelings of failure.
And the best part is that it doesn’t involve anything fancy. It can be as simple as reflecting on what you’re truly appreciative of.
May these questions help you dance more openly with life and relate more deeply with your loved ones!