Gratitude is the Attitude: A how-to guide

To increase gratitude and happiness, researchers suggest writing down the good stuff that happens to you. Just thinking about it isn’t enough. You have to write those good feelings down.

As you get started on your gratitude journal, keep these prompts in mind:

1. Title it. Give the event a title (e.g., “co-worker complimented my project”).

2. Explain it. Write down exactly what happened in as much detail as possible, including what you did or said and, if others were involved, what they did or said.

3. Feel it. Include how this event made you feel at the time and how this event made you feel later (including now, as you remember it). “It felt so good to laugh that hard! Even thinking about it now, it makes me giggle.”

4. Question it. Explain what you think caused this event—why did this come to pass?

5. Let it flow. Use whatever writing style you please, and do not worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Use as much detail as you’d like.

If you find yourself focusing on negative feelings, refocus your mind on the good event and the positive feelings that came with it. This can take effort but gets easier with practice and can make a real difference in how you feel.

Remember, gratitude is a skill. Try this exercise today!

Most recent update: 11/20/2017

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