Practicing Gratitude

 

The last post, we discussed the importance of gratefulness (which you can check out here), and how healthy an attitude of gratitude can be. I shared a way that I try to practice daily, but I also wanted to share some other techniques for practicing gratefulness.
 

SAY IT!

  I am grateful for a cold drink on a hot summer day, and for someone to drink it with.

I am grateful for a cold drink on a hot summer day, and for someone to drink it with.

Say thank you and mean it. Telling the people around you that you are grateful for their help, or their time, or just for being in your life. Not only does it feel great within yourself to let the people you’re appreciative of know that you appreciate them, but it’s truly a great thing to hear. If it’s a “,thank you for helping with the laundry” or  a “thank you for” when they pass the sugar, even something as big as “thank you for always being there for me.” Everyone appreciates being...well...appreciated!

  “Sorry, didn’t see that sunset, but I caught the stunning sunrise with my delicious morning coffee.”

“Sorry, didn’t see that sunset, but I caught the stunning sunrise with my delicious morning coffee.”

WATCH THE VIDEO

Watch this excellent video to help get inspired to start practicing gratitude. It’s 10 minutes of your day, and worth every second. It was awakening in that I was reminded of the smallest of things to be grateful for, things I did not create, but were here long before and will be here long after. Explore nature, explore this world, and be grateful it’s there and that we have the opportunity to see, hear, taste, smell, experience it.

WRITE IT DOWN

Journal or list your gratitude. I don’t particularly enjoy or find myself able to keep up with regular journal entries but, I can make one hell of a list.
I find this one easier to do because all it requires is a pen and a scrap of paper, a post-it, or a full journal. However, you want to do it when you find yourself in a rut grab that pen and paper and just list out the things you’re grateful for. Display it on your desk, on your fridge, in your wallet, and glance at it from time to time. When it gets old and tattered or lost and forgotten, do it again. Add more, take some things off if they’re no longer accurate, and carry this new one. Having a physical reminder of what you’re grateful for can help through the doldrums, the ruts, and even anxiety.


GIVE HONEST COMPLIMENTS

  I am grateful to my friends for their willingness to try silly things with me.)

I am grateful to my friends for their willingness to try silly things with me.)

Compliment those around you. Just dole out one compliment a day, it can make someone’s day and send a bit more positivity into the world around you. This helps inject positivity into your daily life and the lives of people you love or work with, which sounds much more pleasant than being surrounded by exhausting negativity. If you maybe don’t feel comfortable passing out compliments about or to people, possibly share a compliment about an object or a thing of beauty to share a moment of joy with another person. Something as small as: “The sunset was so lovely last night, did you see it?” 


STRIVE TO PRACTICE, NOT PERFECTION

When you have days devoid of gratitude, do not look back and beat yourself up. We are not perfect, after all, it’s called a “practice” and not a “perfect.” When these days happen, and they will, try not to beat yourself up when you realize it. We all have days filled with anger or depression; the key is not to let those days be the majority, and just to try and improve them when we catch ourselves in that nose-dive. 
 

Were we all flawlessly grateful and splendidly happy at all moments, this would be a boring world. It’s alright to feel things other than gratitude; it’s a matter of keeping perspective in the overall scheme of things that counts.

Taking one or a few of these small steps can be a great way to incorporate gratefulness into every day. After a time it won’t be something you have to force, but instead will be a practice ingrained in your every day and will be a part of who you are.

Until next time, take care of yourself!
Kat & Amelia