Gratitude is far more than a mere way to be thankful for all that you have received. Practice gratitude daily and it can lead you from negative thoughts and feelings to positive thoughts and feelings. It can bring light from darkness. Gratitude is a mindful action where one paragraphs to take note and soak in everything that surrounds us in our lives. It's a time to embrace and love oneself and appreciate the life we have.
To feel the fruits of ones gratitude one must be open to not just being grateful for the same things over and over. We need to be able to see beyond what is right in front of us. Granted, having food on the table or having a healthy family are things to be very grateful for, but there are other aspects of our life that need recognition. Consider freshening up those gratitudes by being grateful for supportive friends, for living in a city that provides so much culture or to being thankful for being able to see, hear, and walk.
It's common for many households that celebrate Thanksgiving day to profess what they are grateful for as they are confronted with mouth-watering food. It may seem corny to some to say thanks in front of others for what we have but when taken seriously it can be such a memorable and powerful experience. Thanksgiving is a great place to start to reflect on what one has in their life to be grateful for. If not then, here are some others ways to get you started.
7 Ways To Practice Gratitude Daily
1) Make a game of it. Try to make it a game to see new things, actions and people to be grateful for. Start with something small, such as, someone holding the door for you or consider a strangers smile as something to be grateful for. Those people did not owe you anything and yet you felt good when they did those things, so be grateful for them giving you positive energy by their actions and make sure to send that energy right back out.
2) Gratitude Ritual. Another way to start is to schedule when you make your gratitudes. For instance, start to practice gratitude daily when you start your day. In the morning when you're looking at yourself in the mirror while you brush your teeth, when you're making breakfast. You can even cultivate being grateful before you go to bed.
3) Stick to it. There will be times when you can not muster up the energy to feel like you can practice gratitude daily yet that is when you will be in need of it the most. Many find that they have so much negative energy and events that they struggle with identifying things to be grateful for. You have the power to recognize when this happens and find that silver lining. Create the energy to reflect on that silver lining and start thinking about what is good and positive in your life. Being grateful for being alive is a start.
4) Try a pause for gratitude . With this go-go-lifestyle we have it is important to press pause from time to time, take a step back, breathe and focus on the important things. Even when we feel hurt, angry, confused or have experienced someone being mean to us, taking note of the blessings we have in our lives can re-center us and give a different perspective on how to manage what's in front of us.
5) Create the space. Have a place at home and / or at your place of work for gratitude. Put together, for instance, pictures of loved ones, a trinket that means something to you, and a motivational saying that makes you feel good on a table or an area where you can go to and give thanks for the blessings you have. Maybe even a scented candle that reminds you of positive memories.
6) Express yourself. Simply telling your partner, your friends a family member what you are grateful for can bolster your self-esteem. Telling them how grateful you are to have them in your life will bolster their and strengthen your bond with them. Allow them to see how you look at them will help create closeness.
7) Plug into positivity. It's almost impossible to avoid social media altogether in this day and age so why not take advantage of it. Many people share what they are thankful for by posting pictures and expressing their gratitude. If you do the same you can go back to your posts when you need a reminder to be grateful.
Here's one extra tip:
8) Appreciate the Negativity. You may consider being grateful for the negative things that go on in our lives. You read that right. Things go wrong, people are mean, life gets us worn down, it happens to the best of us. Recognizing someone who is negative and ungrateful is something to be thankful for. Why? Because it's a huge lesson on how not to and shows you how ugly it looks to be the way they are. Thank them for teaching you to be graceful, patient, modest and humble. When you or someone someone is gravely sick, be thankful for being strong and being surrounded by loved ones who make you even stronger.
We, as humans, have the choice to choose how we react and we all falter here and there. Taking ownership for our actions is not easy but it keeps darkness around. If we express our gratitude , especially to others, there is no doubt we'll feel happier, optimistic, increase our well-being and enhance emotional healing.
When we focus on our gratitude we start to focus on what we have, not on what we do not and it puts things into perspective. We begin to appreciate the non-materialistic aspects of our lives that are purposeful and fulfilling. Ungrateful people focus on materialistic things that they believe will make them happy and compare others to themselves. They have a checklist of what they think they need to accomplish in order to reach the highest level of happiness.
Gratitude boosts happiness along with more positive emotions, improved mental health, sleeping better, and even having a stronger immune system. It takes time to cultivate the skill of being grateful by dedication and practice gratitude daily.
Dalai Lama: 'Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can. '
What are you grateful for and how do you practice being grateful? Has it improved your well-being? If so, let me know in the comments below.