Tips for Incorporating Gratitude into Every Day
How Gratitude Can Affect Us
We know what gratitude is – thankfulness, recognition and appreciation of goodness – but how do we apply it into our everyday lives?
Studies show that gratitude can diminish physical symptoms, increase emotional resilience, and improve relationships. Those who are grateful tend to have a more positive outlook, attract new friends, have better self-esteem and even sleep better!
Think of gratitude as a muscle that can be trained. You can learn to be more grateful by taking actions to nurture the trait in yourself. In fact, doing so seems to change your brain chemistry in a positive way.
Also, gratefulness helps clear away negativity, envy and materialism. Being thankful can make you a better person and the world a better place.
Ways to Build Your Gratitude
Here are some tips for incorporating gratitude into your life:
- Aim to have one thankful moment per day. Observe what’s around you for inspiration, like your home, health or loved ones, or even the sunshine.
- Keep a gratitude journal. In it, record something each day that you’re grateful for.
- Choose a gratitude rock, ring, necklace or button. Anything you can have with you throughout the day to remind you to practice thankfulness.
- Write gratitude letters to those who’ve brought goodness into your life. You can send them to share the good feeling.
- Take a gratitude walk and practice mindfulness. You can be thankful for wind, flowers, trees or squirrels chattering through the neighborhood. Slow down and appreciate the simple things surrounding you.
- Prepare a gratitude jar or box. A jar can hold a daily thankful thought jotted down on a slip of paper. When you feel down, reach in and read. Or, put up a box (like a suggestion box), and have family members write out what they appreciate about each other. Share them on a special night.
- Learn some gratitude prayers. Check online for models.
- Use a gratitude app to remind you and to record your thankful thoughts.
- Teach your children thankfulness by making a gratitude tree or flower. Make a poster board flower with each petal representing a grateful observation. Or take a stick, leave it natural or glitz it up, attach gratitude thoughts to it with string and display it in your home by hanging it on the wall or “planting” it in a jar.
By practicing the art of gratitude, you will learn to live in the present and discover a happier life.