Practicing gratitude

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: "A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving." This practice of gratitude highlighted by Einstein is also at the heart of our spiritual and religious traditions. But how do we become more grateful? 

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Gratitude researcher Robert Emmons recommends the following meditation practice called Naikan as one way to cultivate gratitude. Naikan meditation involves reflecting on three questions:

What have I received today? 

What have I given today?

What difficulties and troubles did I cause today? 

 

For reflection alone or together:

Take 20-30 minutes to look within, reflect, and write your answers to these questions at the end of the day. Try it for several days in a row to see if it is a beneficial practice for you. 

Next week: New words for obscure emotions