Learn, Share, Grow - How to Cultivate Gratitude

February 14, 2022

Below is a lesson from Brian Johnson's Optimize +1 on gratitude, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

How to Cultivate Gratitude

by Brian Johnson


Optimize +1

Key Learnings:

  • Robert Emmons:
  • “People are 25 percent happier if they keep gratitude journals, sleep one-half hour more per evening, and exercise 33 percent more each week compared to persons who are not keeping these journals.” 
  • “Because it is a virtue, gratitude, at least initially, requires mental discipline. Virtues do not come easily, and in some sense, we need them as they act as a counterpart to our natural tendencies. This is the paradox of gratitude: although the evidence is clear that cultivating gratitude in our life and in our attitude to life allows us to flourish, it can be difficult to accomplish. Developing and sustaining a grateful outlook on life is easier said than done because the choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort.”
  • "A number of evidence-based strategies, including self-guided journaling, reflective thinking, letter writing, and gratitude visits, have shown to be effective in creating sustainable gratefulness.”
  • “One of the best ways to cultivate gratitude is to establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. When we are grateful, we affirm that sources of goodness exist in our lives. By writing each day, we magnify and expand on these sources of goodness."
  • "Gratitude journaling promotes the savoring of positive life experiences and situations so that we can distill the maximum satisfaction and enjoyment from them. This promotes a shift in consciousness from what we are lacking to the abundance that surrounds us."
  • A study showed that 25% boost in happiness by journaling about 5 things for which you were grateful once a week for 10 consecutive weeks.
  • Key Things to Keep in Mind:
    • First, writing (vs. just thinking about it) is important: “The act of writing down your blessings translates your thoughts into words, and writing has been shown to have advantages over just thinking the thoughts. Writing helps to organize thoughts, facilitate integration, and helps you accept your own experiences and put them in context.”
    • Do it daily WHILE avoiding what researchers call “gratitude fatigue” by keeping our reflections fresh.
    • Seek gratitude density. Be specific. Go for depth over breadth. Give details for each entry.
    • Include some surprises. What unexpected blessings did you benefit from today? What were you dreading that did not happen?
    • “Use the language of gifts. Think of the benefits you received today as gifts."



Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.