Namchak Community Blog

Maximize Your Gratitude

Gratitude. We hear about it all the time in social media and from our friends and colleagues. But with our minds so focused on checking off the next item on our to-do list, it’s hard to change our attitude from one of glass half-empty to a glass half-full. How can we develop an authentic gratitude practice that fills our cup instead of becoming another thing we should be doing?

While starting a gratitude practice is different for everyone, we’ve shared some simple exercises below to help you ease into a more grateful mindset.

Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
Have you heard of a gratitude attitude journal? The basic premise comes from Professor Robert Emmons, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California – Davis. Here’s how it works: Every evening think of three things you are grateful for and write them in a journal. This simple exercise opens up your heart and mind for those opportunities of gratitude and can act as a balancing mechanism that you can build into your day.

Catch up on the latest gratitude research by Professor Robert Emmons here.

Reframing = More Gratitude
Those who challenge us help us grow into better people, which can give us the capacity to be grateful to them. It can be hard but it’s worth doing because we can’t build great compassion if we’re busy keeping people out of our heart. That only serves to make our own hearts contract ever smaller. Try building great compassion by starting with someone you find only slightly troublesome and work up from there.

Sharing in Community
Whenever you are in the presence of another and you’re both directing your minds toward certain objectives of outcomes, try to reinforce each other. That way you both can support and move quickly towards each other’s goals. This could be with a meditation buddy or family and friends at Thanksgiving dinner. While we won’t all be grateful for the same things, openly sharing our own gratitude can influence and inspire others to acknowledge similar moments of thanks in their lives.