“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines gratitude as ‘the feeling of being grateful and wanting to express your thanks’. It’s been quite the year and some may even be wondering what there is to be grateful for with all that’s happened this year. But the fact that you’re here now is reason enough to be grateful.
As each day passes by, it may seem there is less and less to be grateful for and many of us can’t wait for 2020 to just be over and done with. But in the midst of it all there’s always something to be grateful for. Consciously practicing gratitude is something that makes us notice just how much we have to be thankful for. Even science has shown that when we practice gratitude, we see a positive impact on our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. One of the easiest ways to develop a positive mindset is by intentionally practicing the art of gratitude.
So how do you practice gratitude?
- Gratitude Journaling – Most of us are already familiar with keeping a diary or writing in a journal, which means this will be easy for you. Get a journal and use it only for writing down things you are grateful for, no matter how crazy those things may seem. Every day, write down 3 -5 things that you are grateful for, and try as much as possible not to repeat something you’ve written the previous day.
- Write Thank You notes – This could be on Sticky Notes, WhatsApp statuses, Facebook statuses, or private DMs. Just pick a few people each day and tell them thank you for whatever reason. Not only will you get a boost out of it, but you are also injecting some happiness into another person’s life.
- Pause – Pick a period of time in the day to pause and reflect upon the things to be grateful for. If possible, go walking in a calm environment. Look at nature around you – trees, birds – and just be grateful for everything that you see. There are a few things that are more inspiring than witnessing nature in all its glory.
- Ditch the negativity – Make a conscious effort to stay away from things that drain you and increase your desire to complain. Unfollow some people, get off some group chats if you notice that they spend time on breeding fear or negativity. Be intentional about surrounding your ears and eyes with things that are inspiring, motivating, and uplifting.
- Give – You have much more to give than you can imagine. Volunteer your time, gifts, experience or donate your money to worthy causes as a way of expressing gratitude, and be the reason someone is grateful.
Being grateful and showing it is an art that should be cultivated for a more fulfilling, purposeful, well-lived life, so start investing in it today!