Author A.J. Jacobs captures his commitment to becoming more grateful in his new book A Thousand Thanks.
He created a gratitude adventure by tracing the journey of his morning coffee in order to thank every person who played a role in it. His commitment took him around the globe resulting in new perspectives, friendships, generosity, and happiness.
Jacobs confirmed the research: a conscious focus on blessings generates a heightened well-being… gratitude improves our emotional and physical state!
Ultimately, happiness depends on gratitude. Gratitude does not depend on happiness.
7 Gratitude Practices
1. Gratitude Speak: “Thanks!” has become somewhat routine. Try incorporating “I’m grateful for… [your work on the project, your idea, your help]”
2. Gratitude in Moments: Seek gratitude in moments, even frustrating ones. Example: I’m grateful the traffic is taking so long because it’s allowing me to notice the colorful trees.
3. Gratitude Journal: Studies suggest that making a gratitude list 3x/week might be more impactful than daily journaling, because we tend to become numb to the normal.
4. Gratitude Partners: Share gratitude lists with a partner to strengthen the experience and create accountability.
5. Gratitude through Senses: When you touch your fork, pause and be grateful for the food you’re about to eat; when you see snow, pause and be grateful for the beauty of nature.
6. Gratitude for the Normal: Everything we take for granted could vanish without warning, as evidenced by recent fires, hurricanes, floods, shootings, and car accidents. When we see tragedy in the news, pause and be grateful for the normalities we take for granted.
7. Gratitude Alphabet: A.J. Jacobs falls asleep by naming a gratitude for each letter of the alphabet. (Admittedly, he rarely gets past G before he’s snoring.)
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for your readership and your encouraging comments, contributions, and connections week after week.