The list of benefits of practicing gratitude goes on and on. Besides literally being more grateful for your life, other positive reinforcements include being less depressed, sleeping better, and even getting sick less often. (Happify) According to the book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier taking time out to be thankful can scientifically help your overall well-being. Even if you're a natural pessimist, being grateful can be learned. Start by challenging yourself for one week, then a month, next thing you know, you'll be doing it all year round. To get you started, here are 10 easy things you can do today to practice gratitude.
(Source: Greater Good)
Take time every morning to list 10 things you're thankful for. If it's too hard at first, start off with three or even one thing per day and work your way up.
2. Gratitude Jar
Take an old mason jar, decorate it with inspiring words of gratitude cut from a magazine, then keep the jar, slips of paper and a pen somewhere you'll see it every day. Anytime you're something good happens, be it big or small, jot it down and put it in the jar. Fill up the jar all throughout the year, then go back and reflect. Makes a great gift too!
(Source: Hello Giggles)
3. Thank You Letters
Whether you actually mail it the person you're grateful for or simply save the letter in a draw to reflect on another time, actively writing the thank you out can be a powerful and positive tool to make you realize how much you have.
Learning to set aside time everyday to meditate can make a huge impact. It'll help you focus on the most important things in life. "We naturally focus on our souls, our families, our friends, our health, our significance, and our greatest ambitions." (Becoming Minimalist)
(Source: Personal Excellence)
5. Pick Up The Phone
Crazy right? An actual phone call? Set aside one day a week to call someone who means something to you or did something nice for you. It'll brighten up the day for you and the person on the other line.
6. Share on Social Media
Sharing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, even blogging about your gratitude challenge is another way to put it out into the world that you're grateful for the good things in life. Maybe you'll even inspire someone else to do the same. #gratitude
7. Read About It
Books like "The Power of Now" and "The Power of Gratitude" can help you stay in the moment and really see what you have to be grateful for. Recognizing things like your health, loved ones, nice weather or even the fact that your dog makes you laugh, can really boost your mood and help you appreciate the bigger picture, therefore make everyday a little less stressful.
8. Listen and be Inspired
Whether it's a gratitude specific podcast like the Gratitude and Trust Podcast series or a specifically themed episode like The Kick Ass Life podcast's How Gratitude Equals Success episode, sometimes having an outside source talk about it can be a good reminder for staying on track.
9. Go for a Walk
When you're feeling especially negative or grumpy, going for a walk with the intention of practicing gratitude can be a really helpful tool. Leaving your headphones at home and your phone in your pocket and appreciate the air, the grass, birds, kids playing as you stroll past them, even the fact that you're able to go for a walk is something you can be grateful for.
(Source: Meditative Meanderings)
10. The Buddy System
Share with a friend your plan of gratitude and come up with an attack plan to hold each other accountable. Whether it's a weekly email to let each other know how you've been practicing or a once a month get together, having someone else along with you can make any challenge easier. They'll also help remind you if you're slipping into old habits of not recognizing the good things that come your way.
(Source: Prosperity Peaks)
How do you practice gratitude?