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How to learn to be thankful


From childhood, parents tell their children: “Be thankful for what they do for you.” Usually they mean themselves and their own contribution to the formation of the personality of the baby. However, the idea that you should always be grateful is not unfounded. And it is much broader than the generally accepted model of behavior, calling for thanks out of politeness.

Someone once suggested that gratitude is the mother of all virtues. And this is her most accurate definition. How does gratitude affect us and other people? And why is it important to be thankful? How to express my gratitude?

5 things that will change forever

Correct gratitude is not what is said through clenched teeth. Not one that is pronounced out of politeness or moral prejudice. And certainly not the gratitude that parents force their children to express.

Truly healing and magical effect is provided by that gratitude, which is pronounced sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. Let's find out how the life of people who have learned to be grateful is changing:

1. The mood improves. This is one of the first changes that immediately catches the eye. The feeling that you made someone nice is the best of all possible. In addition, the mood improves not only with a grateful person, but also with the one to whom gratitude was addressed! Making people a little happier is simple - just express your sincere gratitude to them.

2. Relationships are being established. Gratitude is an integral part of a healthy relationship between people. It can be business (workers), close, friendly relationships, there is not much difference. When a person cordially thanks another person, a special connection arises between them, which is not so easy to break.

3. Negative emotions are replaced by positive ones. Seeing the world in black is not easy, it’s even harder to pay attention only to good things. Today you rarely meet a person who can smile at a sad stranger, thank the seller in the store for a skillfully selected thing, and gladly help a person who is in an uncomfortable position. But it is precisely such behavior that is the model that is worth striving for. One has only to learn to be appreciative, how the world around will change colors, becoming bright, colorful and magical!

4. Health is restored. Scientists are still trying to find out why happy and grateful people get sick an order of magnitude less than embittered people and self-contained individuals. However, the ability to concentrate on good things supports us in difficult times, and gratitude heals - and these are facts that cannot be argued with.

5. Life is getting better. Gratitude improves life in various aspects, which can be listed for a very long time. But all this can be fit in just one sentence: a grateful person lives a magnificent, happy and long life, full of joy and pleasant memories.

How to learn to be grateful: a letter of thanks

Undoubtedly, gratitude is the strongest cure for various ailments. However, not everyone can decide on it. Stereotypes imposed by society and family, own biases, and fear of being misunderstood interfere. It is for this case psychologists invented a special technique of writing thanks.

Its indisputable advantage is that the letter itself can not be sent to the addressee. Of course, it is important to learn how to express gratitude to another person, but at the beginning of study, you can limit yourself to a simple letter written on the table.

So, you need a regular set of writing instruments: blank paper and pen. Of course, you can print the text on a computer, but psychologists believe that such a letter is less effective, since it is written on a machine, quickly and not enough thought out.

Write to the person you see fit: mom, brother, owner of your favorite cafe, best friend or even the whole world! You yourself choose the addressee. Write to the person you want to thank. List everything, even the smallest details: a kind smile, a little help, good advice, etc. Express everything you can be thankful for. Do not write too long: five minutes is enough for the first time. The resulting letter can be thrown out, hidden or put in a prominent place.

This exercise should be repeated every other day so that the equipment does not become boring. The minimum course duration is one month. However, the best results are shown by people who wrote letters of thanks for three months.

This technique will teach you to see the good things that are around you and give thanks for them. Make your world a little better by adding kindness and sincere appreciation to it!

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How to become a grateful person

It is important to change the worldview. Psychologists advise creating a list of appreciation every Sunday. It is necessary to settle down in a convenient, comfortable place, preferably in nature, alone, so that no one distracts. Then you need to take paper, pen and make a list of what a person is grateful for fate, God, life. The list should consist of many items. Do not be shy to enter seemingly insignificant points. In fact, those moments that at first seem insignificant contain tremendous healing power.

What you need to be thankful for

Be grateful need for friendship, as a great gift. Many people underestimate the importance of friendship, believing that it has always been, should be and will not go anywhere. With such thinking, friends will very quickly disappear from life, so it is important to value friendship, to be thankful for it and remember all the good things that were and are between a person and his friends.

Give thanks for the family

The family is an essential part of a person’s life; it is a blessing for which one also needs to be thankful. It is important to pay attention to your family, to tell parents, children, brothers, sisters about how much they are loved and how much they mean in human life. Do not be shy to show feelings towards your parents, children, etc. If possible, they need help, give them love and tenderness.

Give thanks for health

You must also be able to be grateful for your health. Usually people recall how important it is to value health only after they become ill. Health is the basis of life. Many problems can be solved, but not all health problems can be easily and simply solved. They affect life, so it is important to value your health and maintain it.

Be grateful for the world around us.

Nature also needs to be appreciated. A person has the opportunity to live surrounded by incredible beauty, and it is worth being thankful for this. Even in the metropolis, you can enjoy the beauty of nature, you only need to set aside at least 20-30 minutes a day for this. Rain, wind, slush - not a reason to be upset and sad. After all, nature does not have bad weather. You should walk in the park as often as possible, sit near the lake, walk into the forest and look at the sky. Nothing is more effective in controlling stress and inspiring than nature.

Each person will surely have many more points for which he should say "thank you." No need to be lazy to remember them and give thanks for them. Indeed, gratitude is a source of happiness, positive and good luck.

And also regain the joy of life and make the world a better place.

Constantly working with people, I notice how big a problem is often dissatisfaction and what many people refer to as “negative thinking”. The habit of focusing on the shortcomings of any situation and depreciating because of this, other aspects are usually rooted in the years to 25-30 and then begins to quietly exhaust its owner.
I think many of us are familiar with this: you are working on a task, and at the finish you get a sad disappointment that the result is different from expectations, it is not perfect. And so on and on. In any area. It is very exhausting both physically and emotionally! There is a feeling of permanent fatigue. Trying to find some global reason for our dissatisfaction, we conduct an audit of life and most often everything is good in it: work, relationships, health, certain achievements ... Then what is the matter?
We conclude that, probably, we just “snickered”, are thinking about volunteer work in the hospice, or about those who have nothing to eat that day ... Well, what else are the wise social networks advising. True, the internal state of these thoughts does not improve.

The answer is simple and paradoxical at the same time.

In the course of evolution, our mind was formed so that we used to pay close attention to what we did not succeed or what was missing. Keeping track of the most disturbing factors in the outside world has increased the chances of survival.

Wheat was born, but less than last year, the partner is attractive, but much younger, the child is smart, but often catches a cold ... Everything contained a potential danger - and on the other side of the scale there was no social or psychological assistance, no insurance system, no advanced medical solutions. So for centuries man has needed “negativism”!

In the modern developed world, of course, the survival instinct as such has not disappeared, but scientific and technological achievements, as well as the development of thought in general, allow focusing not on how to survive, but on how to live. And live well. That is, satisfying not only basic physiological needs, but also aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, spiritual ... Here again we will return to reconciling the results and our expectations from them. Since the vast majority of life events do not look 100% the way we would like to see them, the feeling of a race, the desire to make reality fit our ideas about how everything should be, and constant disappointment do not leave a person.

Surprisingly, one of the effective ways to deal with frustration and chronic fatigue can be ... the practice of gratitude. Circumstances, people around, something higher.

Of course, gratitude alone doesn’t get rid of everything - it is possible that in our life situation we see a tough exhausting schedule, information overload, loss of meanings that once inspired the exploits, but now no longer ... These are serious reasons for gloom and discontent, which and talk! But during the revision of his life, the simplest thing is worth checking: have we forgotten how to be grateful?

However, there is one subtlety. Having read clever books and quotes about gratitude, we often say by inertia: yes, I am grateful, grateful ("... just leave me alone"). And we continue to look for the reason for our dissatisfaction with life in something else.
And if you look closely, how does our gratitude actually look like? Hastily nodding “thank you, thank you”, without looking another person’s eyes, not even connecting with this feeling, or we cannot express our gratitude to people in an “expanded format”, because we are afraid to sound out of place, we devalue what we can thank (“ well, he didn’t save my life, think! ”) or do not want to“ give slack ”at all, expressing his gratitude.

This approach imperceptibly shapes the thinking of a person who is scared, greedy, lazy to share. Even in simple words. Well, then, what should the world (of other people) have to answer us with? What fullness can we carry in ourselves? How is a positive outlook suddenly formed? We continue to practice the philosophy of failure, dissatisfaction, fear. Although we want to be guided by the completely opposite!
You can start changing right from this point - looking for and recognizing in everyday life reasons for gratitude.

A few years ago, at one esoteric training, we started talking about energy. Many participants after the program were in a good state of resource and, of course, everyone was interested in the question: how to save this state now? I remembered the trainer's answer forever: start investing as soon as possible!

We are afraid of “draining” energy, time, our warmth and because of this we are often greedy or say that we have nothing to share. But the "drain" occurs just when we succumb to indecision, fear, envy, resentment, when our actions are small and our lives are small.

If you invest your time and energy - that is, spend on people and actions that make us bigger, bolder, more generous - this will not lead to depletion, but rather to an increase in energy intensity and an additional charge of energy. A vicious circle in both cases: either you spend less and you become weaker, less, or you spend more - and you grow.

Here are some simple exercises that “pump over” the ability to be thankful.

1. End each day with a list of 3-5 items - for which today I want to say “thank you” to life / myself / another person. It can be something even very small, for example, a sunny day (thanks to life). Or, after work, you went home through a beautiful park (thanks to yourself). And a colleague at work reminded you of the park (thanks to him).
Acknowledgments may be related to each other, as in this example, or may not be. You can express your gratitude to another person, but this is not necessary. In this exercise, we are more likely to tune ourselves in a harmonious fashion. It is very good to do it before bedtime.

2. Write on a piece of paper the names of 10 people who influenced you. In the last year or for a lifetime, through positive actions or through the pain inflicted, from which useful lessons have been learned - you choose it yourself, you are not limited by anything.
From the list, select (minimum) five, contact them in any way and express your gratitude in any words. The more “complex” people you take, the stronger the result. Agree that it is easier to thank a friend for a meeting than an ex-husband with whom they stopped talking, for how he helped your personal development.
An important point: the reaction of people is not so important - this exercise develops the spiritual generosity of the one who performs it. And how to respond to the “recipient" - leave it to his discretion! Practice shows that this exercise nevertheless improves the condition of both, even if it is addressed to partners / friends / people with whom the relationship has already ended.

3. The last exercise is an ancient Buddhist practice. It does not imply religious commitment, I myself began to carry it out nine years ago, after reading my first book on Buddhism (it was a wonderful book by Pema Chodron “Where it is scary”).
So, we pronounce the wishes described below ...
1) first for myself - “let me know happiness ...” and then all four wishes,
2) for some loved one - lover, friend, parent (“let him / her know happiness ...” and so on),
3) for a person to whom we have a completely neutral attitude - for example, a fellow traveler in an injury, a seller in a store,
4) for someone with whom we have a strained relationship or conflict (loved ones can also appear in this place at some points, this is normal)
and 5) for all living things ...

These are the good wishes:
“May all living beings know happiness and the causes of happiness.”
“Let them be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.”
- Let them be in a state of equanimity and be free from passion, aggression and prejudice.
- Let them connect with a source of unlimited joy.

Performing this exercise creates a good attitude towards yourself and other people, which, in turn, helps to develop the ability to be grateful and to gradually change feelings from life and from relationships with other people.
And what does gratitude mean to you? I will be glad to know your opinion in the comments.