“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ― Melody Beattie
Gratitude is such a powerful emotion, it can mean the difference between a negative or positive life. When we practice gratitute regularly it’s very hard to live a life full of depression or feel sorry for ourselves because we see the beauty in everything. Practicing gratitude offers you a greater sense of feeling connected to others, a more optimistic view towards life and better sleep quality. Who wouldn’t want those things?
Here are 10 simple ways to start implementing gratitude in our everyday lives.
- Tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them
Telling someone you love them and appreciate them can seem so minuscule to you but it has the potential to shift their day in a positive direction. So often we take so many things for granted such as our parents or our spouse taking care of us because it’s what they’re supposed to do right? Not necessarily. The harsh reality of the situation is everything someone does for us is a choice. With that being said, why not take the opportunity and let them know their efforts are noticed and greatly appreciated!
2. Write daily in a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal can be a little journal you keep in your pocket, keep by your bedside or even just a piece of paper that you jot down things you’re grateful for on a daily. The best time to do so is right after you wake up in the morning or right before you go to bed. Take a moment to reflect on your day and get to writing! At the end of the week, you’ll be able to go back and read every single wonderful thing life has offered you thus far and that should be reason enough to make you smile!
3. Notice the beauty in nature
In the morning after you wake up, open your window and listen to the birds chirp. On the way to work look up at the sun. Look at the trees. Look at the clouds. Depending on the season, look at how beautiful the flowers are. Notice the leaves changing colors. Go take a walk in the park. There’s so much beauty that nature has to offer.
4. Smile more often
Smiling makes you attractive and draws positivity to you. Smiling also relieves stress and elevates our mood! Smiling can trick the body into helping you elevate your mood because the physical act of smiling actually activates neural messaging in your brain. Not only that, but smiling is contagious. Smile at someone and watch the smile you get back. (Hopefully)
5. Include an act of kindness in your life each day
What better feeling is there besides doing something nice for someone and they genuinely appreciate it? It’s a phenomenal feeling. These things can be as subtle as opening the door for someone, picking up something someone dropped or just calling a friend and simply checking in on them. One thing you may notice is how everything we put out into the universe comes back to us. You never know, someone may return to you what you did for someone else!
6. Volunteer for organizations
If given the time and opportunity, go volunteer at some type of organization. This can be at a church, a shelter or you can simply donate to a charity. This makes a big difference whether we realize it or not. We never know what our life situation will look like down the road and wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone willing to help you. This doesn’t have to be an everyday thing but its good to aim for at least once a month, if possible!
7. Spend quality time with your children/ partner
You should always try to allocate time to the people most important to you in your life. We don’t know how much time we have with one another here in this world so we have to make an effort to make memories with those close to us. Have a date night with your partner once a week and spend that time doing things the both of you enjoy. Limit distractions as much as possible during that time. Take your children to places they like or simply dedicate 30 mins to an hour daily to just them! They’ll always remember that and take those memories with them for life. Never become so “busy” for the things that truly matter in life.
8. Live mindfully and stay present
Live in the “now”. Live in the moment. We miss so many great opportunities focusing on the past which we will never see again. Focusing on the past blocks you from growth and elevating yourself. Let it go and move forward. I have an article posted on that if it’s something you struggle with. http://journeywithjazz.com/let-go-and-give-it-back-to-the-universe-5-ways-to-let-go-and-move-on/. Stay present and be grateful for this very moment. Meditating helps greatly with staying present.
9. Commit to not complaining about anything
Throughout our day we complain about so many things I’m sure we’re not even aware of. We complain about the weather, the traffic, work, our children, money, our situations and so much more! That’s a lot. There’s one thing about not being satisfied with a situation and actively trying to change it but that’s not the case most of the time. We complain to complain and that’s not good. Think about if everything we complained about was taken away from us altogether. I’m sure if that was the case we would try to see the good in the things we see “the bad” in. Try for one day to not complain about anything. When you feel yourself getting upset, take a moment and breathe. Turn that complaint into a challenge.
10. See the growth opportunities in your mistakes
We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. It’s inevitable because we are humans and far from “perfect”. When we make a mistake or do something we wish we wouldn’t have, instead of beating ourselves up about it we should use that opportunity for growth. What did we do wrong? What can we do next time to ensure it doesn’t happen again? These are growth opportunities we should be grateful for because they not only taught us something about ourselves but they showed us that we are not where we desire to be yet. And that’s okay!
Hopefully, these 10 ways to practice gratitude brought some type of value to your life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!