How to Enhance Trust Using Gratitude

It’s a well-known fact that people who practice gratitude are healthier, happier, and more resilient than those who don’t. Gratitude can increase the level of trust in your life as well. Adopting a thankful outlook will help you trust other people more readily. When you demonstrate goodwill to others, they’ll be appreciative and trust you more, too. To enhance the trust in your life, work on establishing the habit of gratitude, and look for ways you can apply it with your family, friends, and coworkers.


EditPracticing Gratitude

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three to five things you’re grateful for. Over time, this simple habit will make you more aware of the good things that happen in your life.[1] Keeping a gratitude journal can also have positive impact on your well-being.[2]
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    • Write about little things as well as big things. Getting a promotion at work is a great entry for your gratitude journal, but so is wearing your favorite pair of colorful socks.
    • It’s a good idea to write in your gratitude journal in the evening, so you can reflect on the events of your day. Some good apps to look into include Gratitude Journal: The Life Changing App, Thankful For: Gratitude and Appreciation Reminder, and Uplifter.
    • Another option is to say a few things out loud that you feel grateful for. This will help to start your day on a positive note. Starting your day with gratitude will make it more likely that you will be able to feel gratitude throughout the day. It will also help to improve your mood and decrease negative emotions.
  2. Meditate. Meditation will help you establish the habit of mindfulness, which is essential for noticing and appreciating the little things in life. Incorporate some simple meditation exercises into your daily routine.[3]
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    • A good meditation exercise for beginners is to clear your mind and focus on the pattern of your breathing. The more you practice, the better you will get at tuning out distractions and keeping your mind on the present moment.
    • You can also meditate on a word, a phrase, or a specific thing that you’re grateful for.
  3. Send thank-you notes. If you’re grateful that someone helped you out, let them know! You can send thank-you notes anytime, not just when someone has given you a gift. Expressing your gratitude will make both you and the other person feel good, and you’ll get into the habit of appreciating other people’s kindness more.[4]
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    • Consider sending a card or note to a friend who’s always been there for you, a coworker who makes your life easier, or a family member who recently did you a favor.
  4. Look for the positive. Get into the habit of noticing and appreciating the things that go right in your life. When you catch yourself complaining about or focusing on the negative aspects of something, challenge yourself to find something good about it instead.[5]
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    • For instance, instead of dreading your long commute, you could think about it as an opportunity to listen to your favorite music or podcasts.
    • Other ways to accentuate the positive include giving people compliments, commenting on something that’s going well, and enjoying small pleasures like a morning cup of coffee.
  5. Have “gratitude time” with loved ones. Sharing gratitude helps you stay in a positive frame of mind. Make a weekly tradition of talking about gratitude with your family and close friends. Encourage them to talk about what they’re grateful for, and share your own appreciation for what’s happening in your life.[6]
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    • You can also create a gratitude book at home or at work. Encourage your family or coworkers to jot down what they’re grateful for.

EditCultivating Your Sense of Trust in Others

  1. Express appreciation at work. Tell your coworkers or employees how much you appreciate their efforts. When other people’s good qualities are fresh in your mind, you’ll trust them more. You’ll have a healthier and more positive work climate, too.[7]
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    • Employees are happier and more productive if their workplace has a culture of gratitude.
    • You don’t have to give over-the-top compliments. Just say something like, “Thanks for working overtime yesterday to get that report done,” or, “Your hard work really makes a difference around here.”
  2. Tell your partner what you appreciate about them. During a quiet moment with your partner, try this gratitude exercise. Take turns telling each other why you’re grateful for one another, including small reasons as well as big ones. Expressing your feelings will build your trust in each other and help you feel more secure in your relationship.[8]
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    • See if you can keep trading gratitude for ten minutes.
  3. Send a letter to someone you never thanked properly. One good way to feel more open and trusting towards the world is to connect with someone from your past. Think of a person who influenced or helped you when you were younger, and let them know how they impacted your life.[9]
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    • You could send a thank-you letter to an old friend, a teacher, or a former boss, for example.
  4. Appreciate what you have in common with people. When you feel like you can relate to someone, it’s easier to trust them. To feel more positive towards other people in your life, focus on the common ground you have with them.[10]
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    • Look for shared goals, similar experiences, and similar preferences to build a connection with someone.
    • For instance, you might be able to increase your trust in a coworker by focusing on the work-related goals you share.

EditBeing a Trustworthy Person

  1. Think about what you can offer to others. While you can’t make anyone feel gratitude, you can take actions that increase the likelihood that they will. Build others’ trust in you by thinking about how you can use your skills and personal qualities to help them. Then find simple ways to put your plan into practice.[11]
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    • For instance, if you’re a good listener, you could make sure to be there for your friends when they need someone to talk to.
  2. Create positive expectations. Make sure your everyday behaviors show people that you are trustworthy. Tell the truth, treat everyone with courtesy, and be accountable for your actions. People are grateful for honesty and thoughtfulness, and these qualities will make them feel like they can trust you.[12]
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    • Be consistent in your behavior, even if you are busy or have a bad day. People won’t trust you unless you are reliable in your actions.
  3. Be fair during conflicts. If you have a disagreement with someone, handle it fairly and maturely. Avoid bringing up old grievances, and don’t stoop to personal insults. Instead, focus on finding a solution that everyone is satisfied with. People will appreciate your fair behavior, and this will increase their trust in you.[13]
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    • The same rule applies if you find yourself mediating a conflict between two other people. Listen to both sides of the story, and avoid siding with either person. Then help them come up with a reasonable solution.
  4. Avoid complaining or gossiping about others. Talking about people behind their backs will undermine your trustworthiness immediately. Avoid two-faced behavior, and focus on what you appreciate about people instead. When others realize you won’t speak badly about anyone when they’re not around, they will trust you to protect their reputation the same way.[14]
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  5. Use gratitude to promote growth in all areas of your life. Gratitude can promote prosocial behavior, improve your career, and improve your health. Avoid focusing on the negative aspects of your life and focus on the positive aspects as a way to enrich your life in all areas. Even if something does not go as you’d hoped it would, use the experience as a tool for growth and try to identify what you can learn from it.
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    • For example, if you fail a test, then identify what might have gone wrong and how you can improve your studying and test taking skills to get a better grade in the future.

EditSources and Citations

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