This year has been unlike any year before. Everyone has struggled, either in big or small ways. Especially in a year like this one, it is easy to get discouraged and even feel helpless. Nevertheless, gratitude plays a large role in how we handle the problems thrown our way. Sometimes it can seem very hard or even impossible to find something to be grateful for, however, it is during those moments that we must consciously decide to look for the things we’re grateful for in life.
Before we get into the simple ways to practice gratitude, we first wanted to emphasize the benefits of gratitude. Gratitude has a multitude of benefits. Some benefits include enhanced long-term happiness, increased self-esteem, better interpersonal relationships, and reduction of anxiety/depression. Furthermore, gratitude improves physical well-being and is shown to reduce aches and pains, as well as improve sleep.
Practicing gratitude daily doesn’t have to be a tedious task. In fact, it can actually become something you look forward to every day. We’ve highlighted below some easy, simple ways to practice gratitude. We are confident that these simple ways to practice gratitude have the potential to transform your mindset, thus transforming your life.
- Keep a gratitude journal
Writing down what you’re grateful for encourages you to stop and consciously think about the positive things in your life. Having a gratitude journal can also help you when you are having a bad day because you can look back and read about some of the positives in your life instead of focusing on the negatives of a particular bad day. While thinking what you are grateful for is wonderful, actually taking the time to write it down silences those distracting, negative thoughts that affect our mindset. Sometimes it can be difficult to get an idea of what to write in your journal, so here are some easy gratitude journal prompts to try: what is something that you are looking forward to, what is a simple pleasure that you are grateful for, what’s an accomplishment that you are proud of, and what are three things that happened today that you are grateful for.
- Share Your Gratitude With Others
Many research studies have found that expressing gratitude towards others has the power to significantly improve relationships. Obviously, everyone likes to feel valued and cherished. However, it can be easy to overlook our ability to brighten someone’s day. We don’t have to do a grand gesture to express our gratitude. Sharing your gratitude with others can be as simple as letting your partner or friend know how much you appreciate them and the things they do for you. Sharing your gratitude with others will not only improve your mindset and mood, it will improve the mood of those you share your gratitude with. Never underestimate the power of showing gratitude and appreciation towards others.
- Remember The Good And The Bad
Often times, people have the impression that being grateful means feeling happy all the time. But, that is not how gratitude works. Gratitude doesn’t mean being in a state of total bliss and happiness all the time. Everybody experiences struggles and everyone goes through hardships. When pondering what you’re grateful for, you need to recognize how both the good and the bad in your life shaped you to become who you are today. Reminding yourself of how far you’ve come is incredibly powerful because it reminds you of your resilience and perseverance throughout the difficulties. Through the act of remembering both the good and the bad, you recognize the true meaning of gratitude. True gratitude is being thankful for all the things that shaped you along the way, and acknowledging that everything you’ve endured in your life has led you to be who you were made to be.
- Enjoy The Beauty Of Nature
One of the absolute easiest ways to practice gratitude is by spending some time in nature. The powers of nature are remarkable. Nevertheless, in order to experience gratitude when spending time in nature, you must be mindful of the beauty of nature. Breathing in some fresh air, feeling the warmth of the sun, taking a walk in nature are some excellent ways to be mindful of the incredible miracles of nature. By just spending some time being in awe of nature and how wonderfully perfect it truly is will increase your gratitude immensely.
- Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar can be an excellent way to practice gratitude, especially if you don’t really like journaling. Keeping a gratitude journal involves extensively writing what you are grateful for, and if that doesn’t really seem like your thing, you should strongly consider making a gratitude jar. Basically, you get a jar, decorate it however you’d like, and then you write down a note each day of what you are grateful for. It’s easy, quick, and really helps you be grateful. Over time, your jar will be full of notes of gratitude, and then when you want to, you can look back on all the things that you were grateful for. Nonetheless, you need to try to develop a routine of writing down a note each day, and remember, you don’t have to experience something incredibly grand to be grateful. You can simply write that you were grateful for a good cup of coffee or the nice weather. Developing the routine of writing one thing you’re grateful for each day will prove to be a very powerful tool in developing a positive mindset.
Meditation is good for many, many reasons. Amongst some of those reasons are that it improves your physical health, encourages you to be grateful, and boosts your mental health. Meditation isn’t always easy because the mind can easily wander. However, practicing meditation will help you experience wonderful gratitude and joy. Overlooking the benefits and power of meditating can be easy due to the fast paced nature of daily life. That is why we need to make the conscious decision to allot time to meditate. When meditating, we stop to actually focus on our senses, our breath, and our body. Upon doing so, we begin to experience profound gratefulness for all of it.