The end of the day is a good time to think about all the good things in one's life. Some days it is easier to do this than others. There are days when the thing one is most grateful for is the fact the day has finally ended and one is lying in bed. Life isn't always a bed of roses by any means and some people face many stresses and challenges. However, it helps to be aware of anything you can feel gratitude for.
Why do some people feel more gratitude than others? Some people feel more gratitude than others, not necessarily because they have more to be grateful for or because they are nicer people. Researchers have identified a variation in the gene (CD38) which is associated with gratitude. This variation or mutation makes some people genetically predisposed to be more grateful than others even if they are experiencing similar circumstances. I guess Pollyanna had a variation of the CD38 gene.
Can you make yourself feel more gratitude? Having said that, it doesn't mean a person who doesn't have a variation in the gene can't do anything to increase the amount of gratitude they feel and reap the benefits. A study was done where one group of participants were instructed to make a short list of things they felt gratitude for each week. Another group were told to note neutral and negative things. After doing this for ten weeks it was found the first group were experiencing a noticeably higher degree of life satisfaction than the second group.
Once you start to concentrate on the positive you will become aware of a greater number of things to be grateful for. It really is a case of seeing things when you are looking for them.
Another reason you will feel more gratitude is that when you are grateful you feel happy. This encourages the brain to process positive feelings. It's like when you make yourself smile even though you aren't really feeling happy, you tend to start feeling happy.read more
How can you express gratitude? When you feel gratitude for someone in your life, you can share your positive feeling with that person. You could:
Tell them you appreciate what they have done for you
Send a card, letter or email of thanks
Pop a note of thanks in their lunch box or other place they will find it
Give the person a bunch of flowers, basket of fruit or biscuits or a small token of gratitude
Is expressing gratitude contagious? It has been noticed when people make a conscious effort to express their gratitude to others for the things they do, there is a tendency for others to follow suit. Expressing gratitude and saying thank you for 'small' things is just as important as for the 'big' things.
Feeling gratitude makes you happier and helps you cope with life's challenges because you are more aware of the things in your life that are good. Instead of dwelling on the negative you find yourself looking for the good and the positive.
As far as I know, gratitude lists can be done at any time of day and would be just as effective. The end of the day may be a good time to reflect on the things one can feel gratitude for. It suits me but some people may be too tired then and first thing in the morning may suit them better even if they need to get up 10 minutes earlier to fit it into a busy schedule. I am not a morning person so first thing in the day doesn't suit me. However, when I am having my morning coffee outside after breakfast I often find myself feeling gratitude for the birds in the garden, the plants etc even though I never plan on making a gratitude list as such.