When you’re worried, overworked, and things just don’t go your way, how do you find ways to be more grateful? Where do you seek silver linings when you don’t really like the life you have right now?
To be grateful for what you have is something you may have heard several times. However, in a world full of health crises and ongoing sociopolitical issues, being thankful becomes the last thing you think of due to the many concerns you have on your plate.
But, as cliche as this may sound, the power of gratefulness can’t be denied as it may drastically change your perspective. Being appreciative is crucial to healthy living, and it does more than just make you happy. It changes your daily lifestyle, leaving a positive impact on your overall well-being.
So, what are the ways to practice gratitude daily? Here are the…
15 Ways to Practice Gratitude and Be More Thankful
1. Create a gratitude journal
One of the most common ways to become more grateful is creating a list or a diary of all the things you appreciate.
It’s a good practice to remind yourself of the graces, gifts, benefits, and all the good stuff you enjoy. List 5 things you’re grateful for at the moment. When you recall moments and people you are thankful for, it transcends beyond happiness and gives you more meaning and motivation to move further.
A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough showed that people who kept a gratitude journal exercised more frequently, experienced fewer physical problems, and became more optimistic. In general, they feel much better about their lives. Moreover, the study also showed that these people were more likely to achieve their goals.
2. Learn appreciation prayers
Gratitude prayers are considered the most potent type of prayer in many spiritual traditions. They allow people to understand the ultimate source of all they are and will ever be.
3. Use visual reminders
Because forgetfulness and a lack of conscious awareness are the two main barriers to appreciation, visual reminders can act as triggers to prompt thankful thoughts. The people you are grateful for are frequently the best visual reminders.
You can also create a screen saver or a poster on your desk. Make a collage that reminds you of all the good and positive things in your life. Keep the board in your home or office as a reminder of all you have to be thankful for.
4. Treasure the people you love
Spend time with your friends and family if you’re having trouble feeling grateful at the moment. It will, of course, help you become closer to them and deepen your friendship, but it will also allow you to practice thankfulness to individuals you care about.
If you’re having problems coming up with ideas to help your friends and family, start simple. For instance, pay attention when someone is sharing their stories with you. Or, initiate a conversation with someone who has family problems by simply complimenting their new hairstyle or dress.
Many people feel more grateful when giving back to their community. Not only will it make you more thankful for things you may take for granted, but studies have shown that volunteering to help others improves our well-being, and hence our ability to be grateful.
Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor, supports this hypothesis in his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. He discovered that volunteering is the single most reliable technique to temporarily raise your well-being after testing a variety of variables that assist us in improving our well-being.
6. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
We frequently compare our lives to others, which can quickly lead to comparisons that make us feel inadequate. Within yourself, the only comparison that matters. Allow yourself to be free of comparisons to others and enjoy all of the beautiful qualities you possess.
7. Celebrate accomplishments
One of the ways to more grateful is to celebrate is to celebrate triumphs. Make a point of recognizing and applauding the successes of others. For example, if you are a sales manager with a large team, you can have a “Friday Shout Out” where you would recognize and congratulate a team member for something outstanding they had accomplished during the week.
8. Send some appreciation to your friends.
We all have people in our lives that assist us in small ways, but we rarely express our gratitude for them or what they have done for us. Set aside time each day or week to send a quick message or email thanking someone for whatever they did to assist you that day.
9. Develop healthy habits and be thankful to yourself
The key is to visualize it in your head and sit with the sensation of thankfulness in your body. Doing this everyday will automatically train your brain to be more thankful; thus, feeling happier after every meditation.
It just takes eight weeks of thankfulness practice for people’s brain processes to change, resulting in increased empathy and happiness. Your brain is a powerful tool, and training it to be grateful is one of the best ways to ensure that thankfulness comes more naturally as you practice.
10. Pay attention to the beauty of nature.
Nature, without a doubt, has its way of rejuvenating and restoring us. It gives us a sense of comfort and relaxation that we don’t generally get at work or home. So, explore beaches, climb mountains, or simply take an early morning walk and appreciate the tranquility of your surroundings.
11. Learn how to express yourself to others
You can boost your feelings of appreciation by expressing them to the people who matter to you. Not only does expressing gratitude for someone make their day a little better, but it can also help you to feel more grateful and happy in the long run.
12. Extend your help to other people
Thankfulness is also rooted in genuine connections and being able to other people. Acts of kindness are an opportunity to pay it forward and be grateful for what you have. Examine what you can do within your money and time constraints to make someone else’s life better and more meaningful.
Perhaps it’s tiny acts of kindness, such as helping an elderly crossing the road or buying someone a cup of coffee. Maybe it’s donating your old clothes or helping at a local non-profit.
13. Reflect on the things you did within the day
At the end of your day, give yourself a little “me” time to contemplate the things you did. Acknowledge your emotions and do not invalidate them. You can also simply create a mental note of the things you’ve accomplished within the day and pat yourself on the back.
14. Reminisce some hardships
It’s helpful to recall the difficult moments you’ve gone through to be grateful in your current situation. You create an obvious contrast in your mind when you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you’ve gone, and this difference is fertile ground for gratitude.
15. Focus on your strengths
When you concentrate on your strengths, you will automatically perform at your best and achieve excellent outcomes. Instead of wasting time doing the things you despise, you can discover happiness by doing what you’re naturally good at and enjoy.
We do things we don’t want to do all of the time, and since we don’t like it, we don’t give it our all. But it is readily remedied by focusing on what we do well and avoiding what we despise.
It’s The Little Things That Matter
And there you have it – the top 15 ways to become more grateful.
Being aware of what you have creates a significant impact on your outlook. The moment you wake up, you have many things to be thankful for – food, shelter, life, family, education, and so much more.
Practicing daily mindfulness trains your brain to appreciate the privileges you’re experiencing. Remember, it’s always the little things that matter so you should not take it for granted.