Do you practice gratitude? Do you know how to practice gratitude? Gratitude is about being thankful for all the things in your life good or bad and the people who surround you and the places you go. It’s about showing appreciation and giving kindness in return, not just when life is peachy, but through all the ups and downs. By practising this daily, we can start to live a more authentic life, where we truly notice all the good around us and take the time to say thanks.
Gratitude as a daily practice has been show to lift moods, create stronger relationships and ward off bouts of anxiety and depression. Plus, it’s contagious! Showing gratitude to those around you can make others stop and think, and pass it on.
Having gratitude or showing gratitude can be done in hundreds of ways. But if you’re a bit unsure of where to start, we have 5 little ways you can be more grateful, starting today.
Say Thank you!
It sounds simple, but sometimes in our relationships we get lazy and forget to say thanks for the little things in life. These may be simple habits that you just take for granted. Did your partner cook your dinner? Say thank you and let them know how much you appreciate their time and effort. They may cook you dinner every night, but a simple sentence of appreciation can go a long way. They aren’t doing it for the thanks, but I bet it will lift their spirit.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Grab a notebook and start writing. Start by waking each day and writing down the first thing you can think of that you are grateful for. This could be the sleeping toddler in your bed, reminding you how lucky you are to have them. The sun shining through your window reminding you that today is a new day. Or the picture hanging on your wall, reminding you of a holiday you took. End each day the same way, quickly writing down 3 things that happened during the day that you are grateful for. Do this for a few weeks, and see how your outlook may brighten.
Tell Someone You Care
Pick anyone special in your life and write them a note, send them a text, or even pick up the phone and call them. Pick someone right now who you think may need a little pick me up and verbally let them know you think they are awesome! A co-worker, a partner, a mother or even one of your children. Everyone wants to be loved and feel special. Who can you make feel appreciated and cared for today? Let them know you are grateful for their presence in your life. A little love note goes a long way.
Take a Gratefulness Walk
Take a walk and really see what beauty surrounds you. Stroll by the beach and be grateful for the ocean and salty air. Walk in the woods and be grateful for the tall trees and birds singing. You can do this anywhere and it doesn’t need to be the most magical place around. On your daily commute try to pick one or two things that you appreciate seeing everyday. It could be a coffee shop you love, or a store sign that makes you smile. At the school drop off, what is something you see every day that makes you happy, (it’s OK if that thing is your kids walking into their classrooms). You can even take a look around your house and just be thankful that you have walls and a roof to keep you dry and safe. Sometimes, the simple act of saying “I am grateful for..” can have a huge impact.
Give Gratitude to Yourself
Once you start throwing all this gratitude around like confetti, don’t forget about yourself. You rock, and sometimes you need to tell yourself that. You are living life, juggling work, school, kids, and relationships. Instead of thinking about all the things that are going wrong in your life, make a list of all the things that you are killing it at. Take a moment each day to make this list and show yourself some kindness and appreciation by taking some time out for you. Have a bath, get a massage, take a yoga class, listen to a meditation, or perhaps do them all!
Once you start practising gratitude daily, you might get a bit addicted to it, as you see your mood change, for the better, but also the people around you. Kindness breeds kindness. Gratitude breeds gratitude. Just by changing the way you think and react to life, you can change your entire life’s outlook. You cannot change the things that happen to you, but you can change your reactions.
Try this Gratitude Meditation to get you started on your gratitude journey.
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