06 Nov Practicing Gratitude Daily
As the season changes, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life.
From arranging family plans and preparing a Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas shopping and everything in between, I always struggle to self-reflect during this very hectic period.
We are all so BUSY, and unfortunately, gratitude tends to be the first thing that falls off our list.
I find that striving to make time for the things that I’m grateful for REALLY helps to remind me of all the good aspects of my life—especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
The Benefits of Being Grateful
First things first, did you know that being grateful has so many benefits for your health?
In addition to helping you to sleep better (and for longer) and giving you fewer aches and pains, practicing gratitude has the following psychological effects:
- Reduces toxic emotions
- Enhances empathy
- Increases your happiness levels
- Boosts your self-esteem
- Improves your mental strength
Being grateful can also enhance the relationships in your life as well as help you to make new ones. If you show appreciation and invest the time and energy to say “thank you” to people, you’re more likely to receive the same treatment back and consequently secure longer-lasting relationships.
Makes sense, right?
While practicing gratitude is easier said than done, there are some simple ways you can integrate it into your everyday life.
1. Create a Gratitude Journal
The main way that I have developed the art of being grateful is by creating a gratitude journal.
An increasingly popular notion in today’s information age, getting your thoughts down on paper allows you to really think about the good things going on in your life and dwell on them, thus putting you in a more positive mindset.
Personally, I use my custom list in Artful Agenda to list three things that I’m grateful for every day. And my only rule? They must be different ideas from the day before.
It sounds simple, but it really does work.
2. Promote Positive Thinking
Practicing gratitude consistently also helps you to see the GOOD in a potentially BAD situation, allowing you to boost your positivity levels.
I use it as a way to switch my focus and remember how fortunate I am instead of allowing the rough parts of my life to take over everything else.
For instance, if there’s some tension in one of my relationships, I hone in on some things about that person which I’m grateful for—and it’s amazing how much it improves my mood and makes me think more positively about my situation.
3. Don’t Just Write It, Say It
Finally, sometimes it’s not enough just to WRITE down the things you’re grateful for. Sometimes you have to SPEAK the words out loud for them to have more of an effect.
For example, if the kids are driving me crazy one day, I don’t feel satisfied just writing down why I’m thankful for them on my gratitude list. It’s important for me to look them in the eye and TELL THEM why I appreciate them.
Similarly, is your job feeling overwhelming? Chat with a loved one about the good things your job brings to your life! Trust me, there’s a special power in talking about gratitude as well as practicing it.
Gratitude: It’s An Attitude
Even though learning how to be more grateful and implementing these lessons can take some getting used to, it’s worth setting some time aside to do it.
After all, it’s one of the best ways to break the cycle of negative thinking and help you to live a more positive, healthier life.