3 things I am thankful for

…which have an incredible and proven positive effect

In everyday life, we often find little time to pause and appreciate how well we are doing and all the things we could be grateful for. Gratitude can be felt after various situations: after stressful events, such as an car accident, or after beautiful experiences, such as a wedding. The trigger doesn't always have to be a big event, because we can also feel gratitude after becoming aware of small, more everyday things.

Make it a habit to think of 3 things you are grateful for when you wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night.

This has been proven to have a major impact on your positive attitude. It improves your mood, reduces your stress level, strengthens your immune system and lowers your blood pressure.

We can be grateful for anything. The possibilities are endless.

Let yourself be surprised what your subconscious shows you as worthy of gratitude.

1. You can simply think of 3 things you are grateful for. Ask yourself why you are grateful for them? And how you felt or feel at that moment of gratitude?

2. Even better, write down the 3 things you are grateful for, as well as the why and how you felt/feel about them, e.g. in a gratitude book or a small notebook that you like.

3. Add photos of the moments you are grateful for if you like and have some.

As time goes by, you will find it easier and easier to think of more and more moments, events, experiences, gestures, etc. for which you are grateful. Observe yourself when this moment occurs and enjoy the positive feeling of gratitude, lightness and wellbeing.

If a person has done something good for you and you are grateful for it, I can only encourage you to express your gratitude towards that person. You can do this, for example, in a short text message, Whatsapp, on a postcard or a Post-It and send it to the person. In this way, you not only give yourself a positive feeling, but also share your happiness with your chosen person.

A sincere, heartfelt thank you can even cause physical pain to be reduced in the individual we are thanking.

You have certainly experienced the wonderful effect a thank you and the appreciation and recognition associated with it can have on the person you are thanking. To constantly remind yourself of this is a true blessing for the person who is being thanked, but also for the person who has thanked.

Martin Seligmann has researched a very special positive intervention to see what effect a thank you visit has on happiness, wellbeing and our basic positive attitude.

Close your eyes for a moment and think of someone who did something enormously important for you, who changed your life for the better, and whom you never really thanked. That person must still be alive. I hope you can think of someone? Then write a 300 word testimonial to that person. What specifically did he or she do for you. What did you experience as a result, how did it make you feel, what does this experience mean to you, and why are you so grateful for it? Call the person and ask if you can come visit without saying why. Drive there, ring the doorbell, and read your report. Both of you cry when this happens because it is so touching and a memorable moment. It can be so simple and powerful to make others and yourself happier as a result, too. Prof. Laurie Santos from Yale University teaches in her successful lecture “The Science of wellbeing” among other things: whoever does something kind (a favor, praise, a little attention,…) for others contributes a lot to their own wellbeing and happiness.