The A-Z of love: G is for gratitude

James Kerr and Matthew Johnstone celebrate the A-Z of love. This week, G is for gratitude

The Kwakinti Indians in British Colombia have no word for thank you, yet live lives of extraordinary generosity.

For them, gratitude is a way of living and looking at life. They have 'an attitude of gratitude'. They 'do their thanks' rather than merely paying lip service.

Keep gratitude burning: Appreciate what you have in life

Keep gratitude burning: Appreciate what you have in life

For the Kwakinti, status is gained by what they give away. The more they give, the more they receive.

This reciprocity is the essence of gratitude – and of lasting love. Studies find that those who make a conscious effort to keep a regular gratitude journal enjoy better health, increased happiness and more loving relationships.

So, as Kipling advised, 'Delight in the little things', and write them down.

Rather than waiting for the big things to happen – the promotion, the lottery win – be grateful for the smaller things: a cup of tea when you didn't ask for it, the compliment that you didn't expect, the warm hug on a cold day.

WANT WHAT YOU HAVE: It's easy to believe that something better lies just around the corner, but chances are it doesn't. Gratitude helps you see what you have, and if you want what you have you'll never be poor.

WRITE IT DOWN: Research shows that those who keep a gratitude journal can lift their happiness levels by as much as 25 per cent.

MAKE GRATITUDE A HABIT: You'll feel the results within weeks. And they will last a lifetime.