Gratitude is a pretty simple concept to grasp, yet it can be surprisingly difficult to practice. In order for you to truly cultivate gratitude in your life, it’s important that you understand the benefits of practicing this positive habit – both on an individual basis and from a societal perspective.
The best place to start is by understanding what gratitude really means. Gratitude isn’t just about saying thank you when someone does something nice for you or buying someone flowers because they made dinner; it’s about being thankful for all of the things we have in our lives, not just the ones that stand out as major accomplishments or milestones. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small – anything can be cause for gratitude!
1. Start by just thinking about it once a day
“Take a few minutes each day to think about what you’re appreciative for.,” Moskowitz recommends. The simplest approach to incorporate it into your daily routine? Reflect while doing a chore or everyday activity. Making your bed in the morning, loading the dishwasher, washing your face at night—all of these activities may be used as opportunities to appreciate what you have. That way, it becomes a habit and doesn’t need to be changed.
Moskowitz advises beginning with three items, but they don’t have to be fresh every day. They might be as fundamental and simple as the fact that the sun is out or your coffee tastes delicious.
2. Make gratitude a habit
New routines take time to develop. And creating a gratitude habit is no exception. Make a promise with yourself to devote a few minutes each day for a month to practicing thankfulness.
Changing your attitude to thankfulness means reprogramming your behavior and thoughts away from pessimism and toward optimism and gratitude. It will not happen overnight. However, by committing to spend a few minutes each day focusing on appreciation, you will develop the habit of being grateful in your life.
The more you practice being grateful for what you have, the more things you see to appreciate. You learn what you pay attention to. So, if you make an effort to look for things to be grateful for and appreciate, you’ll discover a lot more.
You can also use this technique to overcome negative thinking. The more you pay attention to negativity, the more you’ll notice it. When you focus on gratitude, you’ll notice that there’s always more to be thankful for. Make a conscious effort to switch to appreciation when you notice yourself slipping into a negative mindset and complaining.
3. Gratitude journal
When it comes to beginning a gratitude diary, the most essential thing to remember is that it should be simple. You don’t need a designated notebook or to invest hours in writing or making pages. I find it helpful to write three things I’m grateful for each day, usually a sentence or two each. You may even start by writing one thing you’re thankful for each day.
Remember, though, that gratitude journals are not meant to be all deep and serious. Little things can also make you feel grateful. One morning, I made a list of things I was thankful for, such as my pleasant and toasty socks that kept my feet warm all day.
The objective is to identify anything in your life, big or little, that you appreciate. The more you examine and acknowledge the things you’re grateful for, the more there will be to appreciate in the first place.
4. Practice mindful moments of gratitude
I spend a few minutes each day practicing what I call “mindful moments of appreciation.” Take a few moments to focus on the present, wherever you are, and begin noting and verbally expressing everything you’re thankful for.
This is something I frequently do while brushing my teeth. I have an electric toothbrush that is programmed to run for two minutes. While brushing, I consider everything and anything that makes me happy at the time.
For example, safe drinking water, comfy pajamas to sleep in, a warm bed waiting for me, the yoga practice I completed before falling asleep, my favorite program about to begin, the color of my bathroom.
It’s fascinating how just a few moments can shift my perspective and put me in a grateful, optimistic mindset. I’ve already discussed how minimalism has helped me to live more mindfully. How can you embrace minimalism and mindfulness at the same time? It’s been a wonderful addition to my mindfulness practice.
You may also go a step further and perform a gratitude meditation. There are several guided gratitude meditations available on the internet. You can also concentrate on what you’re grateful for while meditating, or even repeat a simple gratitude affirmation like “I am thankful.”.
5. Share your gratitude
The more we share and spread our gratitude, the more we will feel it. A positive, grateful attitude is just as contagious as a pleasant one. A simple method to share your gratitude practice is to just follow a grateful attitude.
It’s also as simple as sincerely thanking someone you value to show your appreciation. Giving a compliment to another person is also possible. Writing and delivering thank you notes is yet another wonderful approach to convey your thanks. Even though you don’t say anything verbally, mentally thanking someone can help you stay grateful.
Another simple method to communicate your thanks is to talk about what you are grateful for. It might encourage individuals around you to notice the wonderful things and be thankful, too.
Another fantastic technique to share your thanks is to urge those around you to do the same. This is especially enjoyable with children.
I try to make a point of inquiring about each of my children’s favorite part of the day every day. Hearing what the highlight of their day was is something I appreciate. It’s rather odd because they’ll pick some random time that I would never think of as their favorite. I enjoy seeing the world through my child’s eyes. It also reminds me that children value simple times.