Every year people make new years resolutions for what they want or what they think they need in their lives. For changes they want to see. Improvements for themselves. While setting goals can help you achieve what you want in life, what about being thankful for what you already have?
The power of gratitude can have huge effects on your life. I know that it has made me a more positive person, a more productive person, and a better achiever. I’m not perfect, but gratitude has made me better, a day at a time. There’s no doubt in my mind that regular, simple acts of gratitude can change anyone’s life, positively and immediately. Let’s look at some ways you can incorporate gratitude into your life on a daily basis!
Have a morning gratitude session.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, take a minute to think of all the things your life that you’re grateful for. It may be your family, friends, people who have done something nice for you, that you have a roof over your head, and a nutritious breakfast to look forward to (and coffee!!). Make a sign to put on your bedside table to remind you to do this every morning. You’ll start off your day in the right mindset!
Keep a gratitude journal.
Find a small journal and keep it on your nightstand. Every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things that you are grateful for. My mom actually taught me this one! After doing this for several weeks, you will start to feel calm and at peace at night because you are focusing on what’s going right in your life.
Make a gratitude list on hard days.
When you feel yourself getting stressed out from work, family duties, or lose or hurt a loved one, stop and make a gratitude list. Jot down a few things that you are grateful for and focus on them for a minute or two. Once you reel yourself back in from the bad day, and focus on what you have to be thankful for, the bad things won’t seem as terrible anymore.
Show gratitude when angry with someone.
I know, it’s a complete flip of attitudes and isn’t always easy to do. If you get mad at your husband for example, don’t react in anger. Take deep breaths, calm down, and think of why you’re grateful for that person. Have they done anything nice for you? Has that person ever done a particularly good job at something? Find anything, even if it’s difficult in that moment. It will slowly change your mood. If you get in a good enough mood, show your gratitude to that person.
Be grateful for challenges.
It can be tough to do this… I know for a fact that I am very easily overwhelmed with challenges. Whether it be a work or blog project, or even small daily challenges. We have to be strong and when something goes wrong, we can’t self pity. It won’t get us anywhere. Challenges are opportunities to grow, learn and get better at something! When we are grateful for challenges, we turn from a complainer into a positive person. And who doesn’t like a positive person?
Look for what you do have.
Totally guilty of this one. The latest kitchen gadget? My life seems incomplete without it. Or my car that’s a couple years older than I’d like. If you notice yourself doing this like I do, it’s time for us to focus on being grateful for what we do have! There are millions of people worse off than you, without jobs or kitchens or cars. What we have is enough. What helps with this is focusing on other people– volunteer and help improve the lives of others.
Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
– Dalai Lama
What are you most grateful for?