Daily Gratitude

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, November 06, 2019
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D

Much has been said already about daily gratitude practice – at the start or end of the day – usually in a journal or private reflection.

But let’s move that practice into the public sphere. Say “Thank You”! Tell people you love them. Let someone know how they changed your life. Show appreciation even for the janitor or barista. (Especially for the janitors and baristas!)

By doing this we do two vital things:

1.Give positive reinforcement for behaviors, thus making it more likely they will persist and,

2.Generate a cycle of good will in an interpersonal exchange.

If you want kids or dogs to behave a certain way, we reward their good actions. Why not do the same for people? It works with salary bumps with adults! See what happens with words of gratitude.

Also, so often we wait for someone to die before voicing the good stories and kind tales. When you do it aloud and alive it creates a better vibe around the person. But it also makes you feel better!There’s a reflected quality in speaking well of others. You feel better and people see you as more likable. A circle of good! A love fest!! Don’t leave things unsaid.

Now don’t be shy. It’s awkward being genuine and vulnerable. But 98.5% of the time I’d say that giving praise or thanks goes over in a good way. Rarely do people feel anything but joy in receiving this message. (The failed moments are when you enter the exchange expecting something in return for your gratitude.)

Ok, I’ll go first. I love my wife and daughter (obviously, but it bears repeating). I appreciate my patients, what they teach me, and feel a great love for many of them. I’m thankful for my great team at CGCC – they make me smile every day and keep my spacey self in line. I’m thankful to many women who over the years have made me a better man and clinician. I appreciate this one Publix cashier who is ruthlessly efficient – I should learn his name and say this to his face. I have these neighbors who treat my daughter like their grandchild and it’s adorable and makes Miami feel more like home.

That’s a good start. Now your turn!

PS: Be specific in your gratitude. I should tell my wife that I particularly appreciate her way of supporting and encouraging me to be better in a way that I know is selfless and genuine. Oh, and thanks for keeping our family organized with all the events going on. And, well, I could go on. But for today, thanks, Hon. I’m grateful for you.

Do you listen to your gut?
What has it told you and what action have you taken?
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