Practicing gratitude can be a game-changer: it has far reaching effects, from improving our mental health to boosting our relationships with others. Living your life with gratitude helps you notice the little wins—like the bus showing up right on time, a stranger holding the door for you, or the sun shining through your window when you wake up in the morning. Each of these small moments strings together to create a web of well-being that, over time, strengthens your ability to notice the good.
Here are 6 ways on how to practice gratitude for a happier life:
Share The Gratitude
Partner with someone. You will keep each other going, and that sense of obligation to that person will give you the push you need to write your list on those days when it just seems too hard. Reading what the other person has written helps you to access your own gratitude more easily, and it is fun to watch your gratitude email gron longer and longer!
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Recalling moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable theme of gratefulness into your life.
Enjoy The Beauty of Nature
Technology can consume us – ipads, ipods, TV, and computers. Putting them aside to notice the beauty of nature by going for a walk, a hike and even a drive is good for the soul. The ocean, trees, flowers, and animals can all have a calming effect and help us to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.
Make a Habit of Thank You
Saying thank you comes easy with co-workers or grocery store workers. With your family, however, it may be more of a stretch to say thank you to your spouse for cooking a lovely dinner or to your children for listening to something you told them to do. Try saying thank you for the little things and see the positive effect it has on your life and those around you.
Celebrate Each Moment
Expressing gratitude brings us into the moment, making us aware of all there is to celebrate in life. These moments are the ones where we are soaking in a sunrise, sunset or a full moon, and not thinking about anything else except its beauty and how good we feel in that moment. We can have many moments like this, if we let ourselves.
Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries
To acknowledge friends, family and even acquaintances’ birthdays and anniversaries is one of the best ways to express gratitude. A simple phone call, card, or e-mail will make that person feel appreciated and special. Life’s circumstances can be unpleasant at times and to celebrate another person’s special day is something joyful and within our control.
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