We have heard it over and over again – Gratitude is good for you.
Hmm… but why is it good for you?
Gratitude can be defined as “being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” It encourages us to focus on the GOOD in our life so that we can realize how GREAT life is.
When we practice gratitude,
we are more helpful and compassionate to others,
we have more self worth and take better care of our bodies,
and we are more happy!
WOW, this is some important stuff…
When we focus on what we have, what we lack becomes irrelevant. Gratitude changes our thoughts, attitudes and actions, therefore it transforms our lives. Thankfulness allows us to live with a positive, hopeful mindset. It puts our lives into perspective. It turns “not enough” into “plenty”, pessimism and comparison into faith and appreciation.
Do you wish that you could be more grateful? You’re not alone. To become more grateful, you must retrain your brain. It might take some practice but once your mind is switched to an “attitude of gratitude“, your heart will be open to a new way of living! Here are:
5 Ways to Become More Grateful
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – This is an easy but beneficial exercise. By setting aside time for yourself to recall GOOD things that happened to you and lovely people and things that are in your life, you are practicing positivity. This is the underlying theme of gratitude… having a positive mindset and appreciating the present. Find a small notebook and before bed every night, whip it out and do a little bit of reflecting and writing about that which you are thankful. If you find yourself with a brain block, start by trying to finish these sentences:
“Today, I am thankful for…”
“I really appreciate…”
“I felt happy today when…”
“I just love…”
- Show Your Appreciation – Go ahead… Make others feel good! It is easy and I promise you that when you make other people feel good, YOU will feel good, too! Smile at someone, say “thank you”, or write notes of appreciation to loved ones. Complete a “random act of kindness” by paying for someone’s coffee or making a donation of food or clothing to those in need. Give someone a genuine compliment and watch their eyes light up as you brighten their day. Realize that you are so blessed to be able to GIVE to others. You have so much goodness in your life that you have extra that you are able to spread around! How wonderful is that?!
- Love ALL the “Little Things” – There are so many things that we all take for granted every day. A simple way to become more grateful is to appreciate the “little things” in our lives. When you wake up in the morning, be thankful that your eyes opened and you can see another day. When your feet hit the floor from your bed, be thankful that you can walk. When you go outside, be thankful that your lungs can breathe in the fresh air. When you sit down to eat a meal, say a simple grace in thanks that you have food to eat that will nourish your body. When you share a laugh with a family member, be thankful for their presence in your life. There are so many beautiful treasures in life that go unnoticed, so WAKE UP and take notice! Be present! Take a good look at your life and realize the gift that it is, right now.
- Spend time in Nature – Witnessing the wonders of nature really puts things in to perspective. Need an example? Have you ever found yourself feeling totally in awe of a beautiful sunrise, landscape, or starry night sky? Think about it… We are highly intelligent creatures roaming around in a beautiful paradise, that is on a spinning rock, within an expanding universe. THAT IS INCREDIBLE! I mean, How LUCKY are WE?! So, get outside and ENJOY our world! Go for a run or take a nice stretch then reflect on how astounding it is that your body allows you to move and exercise. Watch the snow fall or the leaves change and recognize the wonderment that you experience.
- Trust your Journey and Have faith – It is important to realize that it is okay to not be completely satisfied with every aspect of your life. The key is to APPRECIATE what you DO have, while working and hoping for what you WANT. Instead of wishing your days away comparing your life to others, be thankful for what you do have and be inspired to be the best that you can be. Trust your personal journey and believe that good things are coming your way!