December 25


Maximize the Benefits of Gratitude

By Peter Julian

Being thankful and having gratitude for different things only works when those events or acts of kindness are specific. Vague, non-specific, and recollection of the past only goes so far. To dwell on the past could make for misunderstandings with other people and lead to resentment. That doesn’t exactly work in the present.

To have gratitude for specific acts of kindness, whether it is a spouse, significant other, or coworker, is something positive to reflect on. It is also a good reminder to give a word or another act of kindness to them in thanks or gratitude. Pay attention to physical reactions and mental as well. If you’re feeling good about the response, great. If you’re feeling anxious and not so great, consider that it is time to move onto the next item of the list to feel gratitude for. That way, one can continue to feel positive without needing to constantly remember why one needs to feel gratitude lest it turns to resentment over time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gratitude is a powerful emotion, and writing out or detailing our specific thanks is a strong aid in beating depression.
  • Being more specific about gratitude, explicitly giving thanks for a certain action, allows us to visualize it clearly.
  • Focusing on the present, and noting the positive items we possess currently is stronger than remembering the past.

“Research has suggested that keeping a daily list of things you are grateful for might help relieve depression, likely because it forces your mind to look for things other than problems.”

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