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.
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.
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.
On your gratitude 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.
Instead of just jotting down on a gratitude calendar, take it further with a journal where each day you express your thankfulness with just a list, detailed expression, or art. Learn how you can cultivate thankfulness through a gratitude journal HERE.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 – As soon as you wake up in the morning, give thanks that you have another day to live.
Tip #2 – Use all your senses to discover things to be grateful for. Touch. Feel. See. Smell. Taste. Hear. Live.
Tip #3 – Smile and feel the warm sensation of positivity engulf your body.
Tip #4 – When you catch yourself thinking negatively, shift to positive mode immediately.
Tip #5 – Rather than focusing your attention inward, look outward and realize what others have done for you.
Tip #6 – Keep a gratitude journal at your bedside. Use it at the same time each day or night.
Tip #7 – Keep “Be Grateful” sticky notes at places that you frequent at home and work.
Tip #8 – Have a list of “gratitude quotes” to refer to each day.
Tip #9 – Find a partner to practice thankfulness each day.
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!
Why not? Life is a blessing and every moment unnoticed and not celebrated is a waste.
If you imagine people never getting up from bed to see the light of day, you would realize just how lucky you are. Also, you don’t have to buy a bottle of canned oxygen to breathe fresh air, to scamper for food in a mountain of rubbish, nor to be subjected every day to the terrifying sound of bullets and real threat to life.
Life is great and there is just so much to be thankful for.
People who express gratitude, whether openly or in subtle or covert ways, radiate positivity and cheerfulness. They tend to be calm, peaceful, content, and joyful, knowing that blessings abound and are there for the taking.
God gave you 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “Thank You?” ~William A. Ward
So, why practice gratitude?
What do you think?
If saying “thanks” is an ordeal because you have so much to attend to, it’s a clear signal for you to stop what you’re doing.
Take a moment to breathe. It would unburden you of stress.
Be mindful of what’s happening in your surroundings and, more importantly, your life.
If you have a piece of paper or notebook, go on… write the things that you are grateful for, both big and small, important or not, Earth-shaking or trivial.
If you have a gratitude journal, all the better (though not necessary)! You could easily use the journaling prompts in it.
Keeping a gratitude journal is nothing complicated. It doesn’t have to be methodical or structured. Although it is more focused on practicing daily gratitude, it functions in the same way as most other journals.
The bottom line with keeping a gratitude journal is having a tool to express thankfulness.
If starting a gratitude journal is something strange, here’s a brief on how to do it:
Step #1 – Ask Yourself: What are you grateful for today?
Think about events, people, challenges, learnings, or insights that have moved or enriched you.
Step #2 – Write down your thoughts on paper.
It doesn't matter what you use to write on - standard notebook, fancy journal, tablet, print paper, calendar, post-it notes, scratch paper, or receipt. Personally, I use my cell phone and save to draft. What is important is getting into the habit of expressing gratitude each day. Of course, there is nothing like keeping a journal that you can go back to time and again.
Step #3 – Keep a daily regular schedule.
Set a time each day to write on your gratitude journal. It may be on your work break, lunch, before bed... you decide. Your important keywords are daily, regular and schedule.
Step #3 – Express gratitude any way you want.
Draw, illustrate or color. You may even write a poem or song. If that's how you want to say thanks, do it.
Step #5 – Protect your privacy.
At the end of the day, keep your journal in a safe place. What you write in there is yours to keep. It's best to keep it private and secure.
Aren't those steps simple?
Go ahead – pause, breathe, reflect and write!
A piece of paper and pen along with a grateful heart are all it takes.