One thing is to say thanks for the christmas present. It can be any child (almost) find out. Anything else is to dwell on the taknemligheden a moment and appreciate that someone has thought of one and want one it is best.

The deeper kind of gratitude, adults can forget in everyday life.

Maybe can christmas just be a break, where we take the time to stop and dwell on the things we are particularly thankful for?

As a psychologist I help every day people deal with everything from anxiety, depression and stress to divorce, infidelity, or bad self-esteem. Psychologists have all sorts of techniques to work with many different issues, but it is my experience that a few tools stand out because they help in almost all challenging situations.

There are special one ‘technique’, which seems to go across through it all – it’s about gratitude. It is very simple and runs very deep at the same time. To practice being grateful can improve the quality of life significantly. It is backed up by a lot of research, and it is one of the tools, which a great many of my clients mention that they will continue to use forever.

Gratitude is a positive feeling that is directed towards something outside of itself. You can thank other people, fate or God. Gratitude goes across cultures, mentalities and religions, and some researchers argue that it is a evolutionary sense, as one also can observe in many animal species.

The gratitude, which has a therapeutic effect, is more than a polite ‘thank you for the food’. We have learned the polite thank you at home, when we as children got a gift, and the adults said, ‘What do you say then?’

The thank you, it is important to know the social codes and norms. There are situations where we expect a ‘thank you’ and will be encountered if it is absent, but gratitude is much deeper than velopdragenhed. Gratitude for the larger things – to I f.ex. have a family, a girlfriend, a job, a roof over your head, or that I am in good health – this is one of the most beautiful, most meaningful feelings, in my opinion, we can have.

daily, we can be swallowed by small problems – we tend to have selective attention, where we focus on the negative aspects. But when we cultivate taknemligheden in order to change the negative attention, so we are doing something more than ‘just’ thinking positively.

We get more perspective on our surroundings by the feelings of surrender and humility, which is located in the taknemligheden, and which can be helps to remind us that we can’t take anything for granted.

To say thank you requires, that you stop. But it is in our culture to think in terms of progress, be productive and evolve, constantly creating results and be better. Might hang that along with why we forget to say thank you. We do not have time to dwell on taknemligheden – because we have all the time on. And gratitude, gaze often lingering behind. Maybe it’s because it does not point forward, that we forget it.

As a therapeutic technique, one can make taknemligheden very specific. Try f.ex. each day to stop and dvæl at the five things in your life that you are thankful for. In order to better remember it you can choose a fixed time f.ex. before you go to bed at night or in the morning when you stand up.

It is supersimpelt, but it can have a whopping effect. Thank you, because I have a family, thank you, because I have people to keep by, thank you, because I can see, hear, and taste. When we have a targeted focus on being grateful, we can feel typically an increased quality of life – just because we tuner our thoughts on the courses.

Maybe one is grateful the same things every day, but it does not matter – for it may mean that you have some strong values as points of reference that puts everyday concerns into perspective for one.

So remember to say thank you at christmas – and not only out of courtesy for the gifts and the food. Gratitude is much bigger than that. To think that such a small word can hold such strong and beautiful emotions and can so important for others – and not least for yourself. Thank you.

Neela Maria Sris Private practice psychologist

Neela Maria Sris is a private practice psychologist and director of the psykologhuset Encounter. She is also a consultant in the organization and management as well as external associate professor at Copenhagen University. Neela is very intrigued by the way in which we humans understand the world, life and each other. As a psychologist, she works every day to help people through life’s challenges and problems. Through its hverdagspsykologiske op-ed trying Neela to open new perspectives on the way we understand ourselves and interact to the other.