Finding ways to be thankful for little things in life can be life altering in more ways than one would imagine. Gratitude is believed to work its magic, serving as an antidote to negative emotions. Just like the White Blood Cells to the soul it protects us from any kind of cynical excitement, anxiousness and resignation.
Practicing gratitude goes way beyond just saying “thank you”.It means disconnecting from the toxic negativity. We don't necessarily always have to explicitly share it with someone, feeling it within goes a long way in keeping our sanity during the times you actually wanna punch someone right across the face. It allows us to celebrate the present and block toxic emotions.
Here are some ways you can reap the benefits of gratitude using these simple practices
- Journal about things, people, or situations for which you are grateful. Consider including negative situations like avoiding an accident, for instance.
- Think about someone for whom you are grateful
- Write a gratitude letter to someone for whom you are thankful. Consider sending it or giving it to them in person.
- Meditate on gratitude (present moment awareness).
- Do the “Count Your Blessings” exercise (at the end of the day, write down three things for which you were grateful)
- Practice saying “thank you” in a real and meaningful way. Be specific. For example, “Thank you for taking the time to read this article and leave a comment. I enjoy reading your contributions because they broaden my understanding of this subject.”
- Write thank you notes. Some might say this is a lost art. Challenge yourself to write one hand-written note every week for one month.
- If religious, pray about your gratitude or use specific prayers of gratitude. Interfaith Worker Justice offers Muslim, Jewish, and Christian examples. Secular Seasons has several graces and invocations. You also can find a collection of secular gratitude approaches on Be. Orlando Humanist Fellowship.
- Recall a negative event. Doing this helps you appreciate your current situation.
- Be mindful of your five senses. How does each enhance your life?
- Create visual reminders to practice gratitude. Sticky notes, notifications, and people are great for this.
- Focus on the good that others have done on your behalf. Actions lead to gratitude. Smile, say thank you, and write gratitude letters.
- Be grateful gazer. Be on the lookout for opportunities to feel grateful.
- Give something up. We tend to adapt to newness; sometimes it’s a good idea to give something up so that we can increase our appreciation of it.
- Think about what your life would be like if a specific positive event wouldn’t have happened. Write all the decisions and events that would have been different in your life. For instance, what if you didn’t meet your spouse? What if you didn’t get the dream job you have now? What if you hadn’t stopped a particular bad habit?