Yesterday, I wrote about practicing gratitude with a daily gratitude journal. Indeed, there is so much in life to be grateful for yet take for granted. I would like to delve more into the topic in more practical but simple ways.
We are all familiar with more ways than one on how to practice gratitude; however, we either forget to do so, find it uncomfortable, icky or cheesy, or simply take it for granted.
If that sounds like you, why not start small and let the habit grow into you.
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ~Eric Hoffer
You never know what wonders it would do, to you and others.
How Can You Practice Gratitude in Your Daily Life?
Consider these practical ways to express and show thankfulness where it is due, and reap your rewards of positive aura from feeling joyful, peaceful, contented and forward-looking.
#1 – Write a “Thank You” Letter or Note
There is probably someone in your life right now that you need to thank. It is best that you take time to send them a handwritten letter of thanks. This adds more meaning, especially at this time when reaching out to people is as easy as pushing a virtual button. The time that you take to express your feelings by writing them down means more lasting rewards than using electronic media.
However, if this feels like an ordeal, go ahead and send a “thank you” post-it-note, text message, email, private message at Facebook (via Messenger), or whatever means that doesn’t intimidate or scare you from expressing thanks.
#2 – Create a Gratitude Calendar
On your “grateful calendar”, write down 3, 5 or 10 things you are grateful for each day. Identify people who have touched or moved you in some way. After writing them in your calendar, read them out loud. Keep this calendar where you can see it constantly.
#3 – Say It Out Loud
Each day, say “I’m grateful for you” to important objects, events and people in your life. Saying thank you to objects like your purse, comb, mirror, notebook, pen, or dress may sound weird or silly. But try it anyway. You’ll be amazed at how much energy it gives you to thank things that serve their purpose 24 hours a day with not a smirk, grunt, cursing or complaining.
#4 – Practice “One Person a Day” Gratefulness
Take a different friend, family member, acquaintance, coworker or service provider each day of the year. Call that person and tell him or here how grateful you are for their presence in your life. You may hug the person, if that’s fine for you. This works a couple of ways. It lets people know that you care about them and appreciate them, and it also forces you to expand your circle of influence.
#5 – Say “Thank You” for Your Meal
Many people in the world don’t eat for days or are uncertain if they could even have water, but you may be more blessed than them in that respect.
You have several choices as far as what food to eat, how much, and when. You could try all sorts of expensive diets – paleo, vegetarian, vegan, keto, gluten-free – not because you have to but because you can afford to. You bulk buy, food binge, and go restaurant-hopping. You discard food that doesn’t suit your taste as easy as a snap. You get what I mean.
Whether you have an abundance of food or eat sparingly, express gratitude for the food you put into your body.
#6 – Give or Donate
You may lament the fact that you don’t have as many clothes, pairs of shoes or possessions as you would like. Find someone who has less than you. Give them something of yours. Perhaps, donate to your local charity, church, food bank or thrift shop. Collect your recyclable bottles and cans and hand them to people who depend on them for their income.
Doing these acts of kindness can make you realize how fortunate and blessed you are.
#7 – Share Your Expertise
Sometimes, all people need is a little boost in knowledge and skills to make a significant difference in their life.
If you are good at cooking, sewing, computing, writing a job application letter, or cutting hair, why not go to local community organizations or even schools to pass on your expertise to others? You may have worked years to achieve that level of proficiency but, hey, we all start somewhere, don’t we?
#8 – Let the Most Important Person in Your Life Know That You Appreciate Them
Go to the nearest mirror. Ask – Who is that person staring back at you? That is the person you should be most appreciative of.
You obviously love your friends and family, but you need to express self-love first before you can form the deepest relationships with others. Frequently look yourself in the eyes and express gratitude for who you are and what you have given yourself.
Tips to Reinforce Your Gratitude Attitude
What you do depends a lot on what goes on in your mind and heart. We’re talking of values and attitudes here. To give you a boost in that respect, here are some helpful tips:
Tip #1 – Each morning upon waking, make a vow to practice gratitude on that day.
Tip #2 – Use all of your senses – touch, feel, sight, smell, taste and hearing – to discover things to be grateful for.
Tip #3 – Keep “Be Grateful” sticky notes at strategic places in your home and at work.
Tip #4 – When you find yourself thinking negatively, find something positive to focus on instead.
Tip #5 – Keep a gratitude journal by your bed or your alarm clock, where you will see it every night. Write in it the same time each day or night.
Tip #6 – Rather than focus inward on your own actions, look outward to realize what others have done for you.
Tip #7 – Find a gratitude partner who would routinely ask if you’ve expressed gratitude that day, and you do the same.
Tip #8 – Have a list of “gratitude quotes” and refer to at least one each day.
Tip #9 – Smile and feel the positive sensation throughout your body.
How about you? What ways do you express your gratitude? What tips can you add to this list to spread the positive habit of daily gratitude?
Please feel free to share what you’ve got in your pocketful of wisdom!
Here’s a heads up for you guys and gals! I just finished creating a Free 168-page Gratitude Coloring Journal with 30 coloring pages. I’ll be putting it up tomorrow for those who sign up for my newsletter.
Have a look at the cover!