Research tells us having an attitude of gratitude will improve our quality of life. So why not try these 3 easy ways to start practicing gratitude today.
How to Start Practicing Gratitude
We have all heard that being more grateful helps to lift our mood. It makes us feel more satisfied and can even help us sleep better.
So how exactly do you go about being grateful (when it’s not Thanksgiving time)? Try one of these 3 easy tips.
Tip #1 Be More Observant
My first step to practicing gratitude is to start noticing things around me to be grateful or appreciative of. They are EVERYWHERE.
From the sun that’s shining to fresh air to breathe. Gratitude can be that simple.
Maybe someone made you breakfast or saved you a seat on the bus. Was there a door held open for you or someone that smiled your way?
When you are looking for them you will find MANY things to be grateful for in a given day.
Tip #2 Vocalize Your Gratitude
Once you start noticing things that you feel grateful for then go ahead and share some of them.
You can begin with people in your own family or that you live with. Let them know how much they mean to you and that you are grateful for them.
Being specific in your gratitude is best. I know my kids like to know exactly what they did that I appreciated. They also love being thanked for the everyday things that they are expected to do.
When you are talking with friends, family, or coworkers share with them the things that make you grateful and the things that are going good for you.
Even if what’s going good is that nothing terribly bad is happening. I often find myself thinking, “Well at least it’s not (fill in the blank with something worse)”.
Tip #3 The Practice of Writing It Down
Recently I attend a favorite things party where each guest brought one of their favorite things and then told everyone about it and swapped them.
I came home from the party with my neighbors favorite thing, a gratitude journal. At the time I wasn’t very excited.
Then I gave it a try. It had three lines for each day to write down three things I was grateful for. The lines weren’t very long so it required minimal work from me.
What happened next was pretty great. First, I knew I would have to write three things down at night so I started to watch for things during the day.
I found my annoyance at the loud music the workers were playing in my basement turned into gratitude for my basement finally getting finished.
I took more notice of my sweet daughter telling me her favorite thing about the day was getting to be with me (aaaahhhh).
There has been a little skip to my step in the recent weeks since I started my gratitude journal. It really has lifted my mood and helped me to feel better.
Not only that, it is creating a mini daily journal of some of the sweetest moments in my day. I have found it so fulfilling to go back and read my previous gratitude entries.
If you would like to watch an inspirational story of finding things to be grateful for amidst a trial check this video out about a man who was in the Brussels Airport bombing in 2016.
Whether you choose to practice gratitude by being more observant, vocalizing it, or writing it down you can use one of these 3 easy ways to start practicing gratitude today!