When you use your inborn character strengths in a new way, you will have increased happiness and decreased depression according to a report by Gander, Proyer, Ruch & Wyss, 2012.
The most prevalent character strengths in human beings in descending order are kindness, fairness, honesty, gratitude, judgment (Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2006).
In the last blogs I discussed how kindness and fairness can be used to increase happiness and decrease depression, leading to an increased quality of life, and how you can call on your inborn character strengths to make the process with less effort. The fourth quality in our increased happiness report is:GRATITUDE
ATTITUDES OF GRATITUDE
We cannot show gratitude without sharing it with someone. When we show our gratitude, it’s a way of sharing our joy with that person. Even when we do something as simple as burning a candle to show gratitude, it shares our joy with everyone who sees the flame of the candle. It strengthens their faith and reminds them to show their gratitude, too. Make showing and sharing your gratitude a part of your life. If someone does something nice for you, share your happiness with that person. Send a card or make a phone call. Share your gratitude, tell someone. If you have had a victory in your road to success, show your gratitude by sharing it with others. Then share your gratitude with them for the help they’ve given, too. Demonstrate gratitude in your actions every day. Gratitude is more than just a thought process. Demonstrate your gratitude through your compassion, and your tolerance. Gratitude strengthens and supports our relationships with other people. Make a commitment to show your gratitude by sharing it with others whenever you have the opportunity. We can show our gratitude for life in even our smallest actions. Find a way to demonstrate your gratitude to the universe. Feed the birds! Action gives life to ideas. When we start to look for ways to show our gratitude, we will find more and more to be grateful for. Gratitude is a form of self-expression that must be shared. We cannot have an attitude of gratitude without having an object of that gratitude.
ATTITUDES OF GRATITUDE:
- Mind your manners. Say please, thank you and excuse me.
- Smile when you see your family. Turn your frown upside down.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Notice when others do kind things for you. Show gratitude by action or words.
- Say I love you before going to bed.
- Give hugs daily.
- Don’t worry about tomorrow. Focus on what you are happy about today.
- Create gratitude journals to keep track of daily blessings.
- Show thankfulness for even the little things others do for you.
- Leave love notes in unexpected places like lunch boxes and under pillows.
- Encourage someone with a compliment.
- Verbalize what you are grateful for when you feel like complaining about life.
- Keep a basket of small slips of paper on the table. Write notes of thankfulness during the week and read them to each other during a family meal.
- Remember to thank God for blessings each day.
- Surprise your family (or friends) with little gifts or treats to show you thought of them.
- No grumbling about minor annoyances around the house.
- Do special things to cherish time with family. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
- Reflect on happy memories regularly. Make inspiration boards of special times.
- Help someone out without them having to ask you. Watch for someone in need.
- Make a list of all the things you are grateful for before you go to sleep at night. You most likely will be asleep before you finish.