Microgratitude

I could feel it.

I gave him soft eyes. My eyes just relaxed and subtly creased into a smile.

It was a strange feeling to recognize. I hadn’t really thought about this concept of microgratitude before until I was watching a nature show about microorganisms and how quickly they can adapt to their surroundings.

When you show gratitude for someone, you send them signals that you care for them. This is important because people want to be acknowledged and cared for.

As I’ve gone deeper into gratitude I’ve used this mindset to help me build relationships. I show that I care about them and it’s easier to build a relationship.

This is a great skill to have because it helps you connect with people that you might have previously struggled to connect with and it helps deepen connections with people you enjoy.

I hopped on to the Mindset First Club group one day and read a few posts. I noticed a theme. It seemed like a lot of people were talking about the thought they had before they had an interaction with someone.

That’s when the idea of microgratitude surfaced again. The idea of microgratitude is to set yourself up for gratitude before you even enter a situation. Before you go to a meeting how are you thinking about that upcoming meeting? Do you have positive, neutral, or negative thoughts?

If you can plant little seeds of gratitude and positivity throughout your day, you’ll have a better time and get so much more out of each experience. It’s why most vacations are so enjoyable. You think about all the cool things you will do on your trip. You are microgratituding your way to a positive experience.

Set Up Your Mindset

When you plant little seeds of gratitude before you do something, it’s easier to go into the situation with a positive mindset. It’s important to set up your mindset so you get the most out of the experience. It makes it so much more enjoyable.

It could be something as simple as silently thanking someone before you have a conversation. By doing this you are putting yourself in a grateful place with that person. It makes the conversation so much more enjoyable for both of you.

Review the Situation

You can also plant little gratitude seeds after a situation is done. This even works with the difficult moments, like a person who doesn’t listen very well. You might be thankful that they told you about a new restaurant, or maybe they made you upset and you realize that you don’t need to get angry over someone who doesn’t care to listen to you.

We usually remember the most impactful thing in our day and the end of our day. If you can take the time to look back on a situation with microgratitude, then you can rewire how you remember the situation. You can focus on the one positive nugget and use it to grow and learn instead of the 10 negative things that only make you more upset.

It’s all about looking at small things in life and seeing all the amazing opportunities they offer if you are willing to appreciate them.

5 ways to feel microgratitude:

  1. Before you greet someone, think about what you like about them. It might be as simple as liking their smile. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t have a likable smile.
  2. Before you attend an event, think about how the event can help you grow. I struggled with meetings for the longest time because my mindset was in the wrong place. I changed this by thinking about what I could learn in a meeting or how the meeting could help me grow. For example, I was working on belly breathing and instead of checking my phone or my email during the meeting I focused on breathing into my stomach. I was more engaged than I had been in a meeting in a long time. I was also less drained by the end of the meeting.
  3. Appreciate the small nuances that you might usually miss. That could be as simple as feeling your butt in a chair or enjoying a sip of cool water. Many of us, myself included, take the small things for granted and don’t feel grateful for the simple things in our lives.
  4. Smile at something you wouldn’t normally smile at. It could be a tree or your cup of coffee. Just taking a few moments to smile at something will help you appreciate it just a bit more.
  5. Silently thank each person for giving you their attention before you start a conversation.

Making Microgratitude Stick

It can be hard to remember to feel grateful, even just a few hours after something amazing happens to you. You quickly move on to the next thing in your life. It’s how our brains are wired.

You have to consciously make time to build the microgratitude habit. It won’t be easy because life quickly takes over. That’s why reviewing your day with a gratitude journal is so important. You are looking back on your day and remembering all the good things that happened in your life.

Take the Bring Gratitude quiz. See what level you are at and get custom emails to help you improve your resilience and bring more joy to your life.

1 thought on “Microgratitude”

  1. Dear Karl,

    I have been subscribing to your email for about 4 months now because the subject of gratitude is close to my heart. I was curious what you have to say. I took the two tests and the sharing gratitude has made me aware that there is so much more I can do to share how grateful I am to people. I am hoping this can help address hurt especially in areas when you do not only feel unappreciated but also judged.

    I have been meditating and practicing yoga for over 20 years. Despite that length of practice on and off, I sometimes feel I am a beginner. This attitude can go two ways: humbled or frustrated. I know that I have to work on my equanimity in order for me not to expect and be in a state where I feel compassion with my nerves at bay. The practice of being in a state of gratitude I believe can help bring me the awareness that there is a purpose why people are brought to my life; that there are lessons to be learned all the time.

    Thank you Karl and I pray that you touch more lives in your mission to spread the virtue of Gratitude.

    Blessings,

    Linds

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