Updated: May 26, 2021
Have you ever gone through days where you’re just feeling like a failure and all you can do is think negatively of everything? If you answered yes, you’re probably open to finding out how you can attain longer lasting positivity in your life! The one word I want you to remember after reading this is GRATITUDE.
Gratitude means being thankful for everything you receive, including the simple pleasures in life. When I say gratitude, I don't just mean saying 'thank you' to someone who has done something nice for you or has given you something. There is a deeper meaning here; gratitude means being grateful for each day...waking up every morning and being happy and thankful for the things that you have, and for the great people you have in your life.
Feelings of gratitude don’t always come naturally, especially in times of difficulty. It's easy to complain about the things we don't have, or the things that don’t go as planned and as humans we are always wanting more. Slow down and savour surprises and all the good parts of life, even if they don’t seem so good in the moment. Our attitude and inner dialogue can negatively affect our mental health, physical health and emotional health.
Practicing gratitude is proven to help people feel great and can be done through practice and intention. Cultivating gratitude has so many benefits such as; reducing stress levels, calms the nervous system, improves your relationships, makes you overall happier and will give you a new sense of clarity, especially with your level of self-awareness. Gratitude will help you shift your focus from what you feel your life is lacking, to being able to have a positive outlook on what is already present.
Practicing gratitude takes patience and consistency. The best way to learn how to set goals for practicing gratitude is to schedule this into your daily routine. Making sure you’re setting aside 2 minutes a day to practice gratitude will make a HUGE positive impact on your life!
If you're ready to start being more self-aware and reap the benefits of practicing gratitude, check out my list of ways to do so below:
1. Start a gratitude journal- maintaining a gratitude journal is one of the most common ways to make sure that you feel good every day. Taking 15 minutes to write 3 to 5 positive things that happened to you at the end of each day can be a great way to begin. Then ,each morning before you start your day you can write 3 things that you are grateful for- it could be about a family member, school, work, something exciting you found out about, your pet, an accomplishment, a friend you are thankful for ect.
Here is an example of 3 good probing statements you can use for journaling at the end of your day:
One good thing that happened to me today...
Today I had fun when...
Someone I was thankful for today…
Here is an example of a list of things you can use as a guide to be grateful for:
I am grateful for my family
I am grateful for the roof over my head
I am grateful for my best friend
2. Write a 'thank you' letter- it’s nice to feel appreciated so sometimes you can practice gratitude by letting an important person in your life know how grateful you are to have them around. Sometimes we get used to people being there for us and always supporting us that we forget to appreciate it. We are automatically conditioned to think that everyone has the privilege of receiving support. Writing a thank you letter, text or email will instantly bring positivity into their day which will automatically make you feel
3. Meditate- gratitude gratitude meditation means focusing on expressing gratitude for all the things in your life. This can be as simple as taking a few mins before bedtime to practice some deep breathing techniques to help focusing on calming your thoughts. During this time you will reflect on all people and things you are grateful for.
4. Practice positive affirmations- challenge yourself to make a positive statement about yourself every morning that starts with the words "I am"...validating yourself can help you feel confident and more grateful. Try it out!
5. Start a happiness jar- each day write one thing that made you happy that day and throw it in the jar. To make this easier you can make a gratitude list in advance and refer to it when deciding what you are happy for.