Gratitude fatigue?Try these steps
Gratitude increases with specificity, surprise and scarcity
- Specificity – Be very specific about what you are grateful for. If your gratitude list becomes like a to-do list, you will cease to relish the process. Prevent it from becoming a task you simply want to tick off! Here is an example: Think about a close friend. Simply writing ‘I am grateful for Jane’ will do little for you sense of wellbeing. On the contrary, I am grateful for how thoughtful Jane is. When I was sick last week she cooked for me. I felt loved and taken care of! Take notice how different that makes you feel?
- Surprise – You come home from work one day and your family surprises you with a cooked dinner! Gratitude increases with a helping of surprise. Think about blessings, events or people that have planted joy in your life. Now think what would have happened if these blessings, events or people had not come to pass. Do you feel more grateful? The feeling of gratitude is amplified when we contemplate about the absence of such events.
- Scarcity – Have you noticed how finishing college, retiring, moving away, last days of a holiday or suffering a grave illness makes us more grateful? There is impending realisation that time is limited; it’s a scarce resource. The pettiness seems to wane away as we begin to embrace the here and now. Think about a friend or family member who is moving away. How can you increase gratitude for having that person in your life?
Develop a rich gratitude vocabulary
A gratitude journal is like a hard copy of gifts. When you read entries from this journal years from now it will still evoke feelings of joy and appreciation. Being attentive about words that we want to include in our gratitude journal forces us to slow down and be more mindful. Develop a rich gratitude vocabulary! Consider these words as an investment in your future.
A sense of entitlement
Entitlement is defined as a belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. A sense of entitlement is a primary concern among parents raising children. We are living in a society that is richer than ever before. Average possession’s per household has increased while happiness levels have declined. A sense of entitlement diminishes our sense of gratitude and negatively impacts our happiness levels. Think about things in your life, that you feel entitled to and which might be obstructing feelings of gratitude.
Gratefulness overflows from a humble heart. It’s an antidote to entitlement. According to Paul Wong, President of the International Network On Personal Meaning, here are some humility practices that all us could practice daily: Lets acknowledge when we are wrong, receive correction/constructive feedback, apologise to others, refrain from criticising others, forgiveness, rejoicing in others success and seek opportunities to serve others.
Gratitude disposition through intensity, frequency, span and density
In his book Gratitude Works, Robert Emmons encourages us to observe our gratitude growth by thinking in terms of four facets of gratefulness disposition.
- What is the intensity of your grateful disposition? When something good happens in your life, do you feel very grateful or does that feeling wear off quickly?
- How frequently do you feel grateful? Several times a day, once a week or hardly ever?
- The number of circumstances that you are grateful for; grateful people tend to be grateful for several situations and people in their life.
- The number of things that you are able to list as gratitude against a single person or situation. It about seeking depth not breadth! People who tend to list several gratefulness points for a single outcome tend to be more grateful.
We might be stronger in one facet of gratefulness deposition and not the other. It might be easier for some us to feel intense gratitude sometimes but not as frequently. Identify which facet requires strengthening and then begin nurturing it.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us. We hope that these course correction tips will serve you well. We were inspired by Robert Emmons brilliant book ‘Gratitude Works’. Robert’s research in the field of gratitude has helped us write this post.
Words To Grow By
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a large amount of gratitude.”