People who regularly practice gratitude report experiencing more positive emotions, vibrancy, and better sleep. They express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. Practicing gratitude is good for your health and happiness, so consider these five steps to being more mindful and aware of the gifts of every day.
- Wake up with gratitude Waking up to live another day is perhaps the thing we most take for granted. It’s true what The Dalai Lama once said: “one positive thought in the morning can change your whole day”. It’s easy to wake up and instantly think of your to-do list, check your phone for messages, or hop on your computer to check email. However, it’s crucial that once we wake up, we pause to simply be grateful for another day. This one act will set you up for a more positive view of the day and you’ll start more energized and more grateful.
- Write it down Don’t just think about the things you’re grateful for, put it on paper. This simple exercise opens a new door of gratitude. Writing grateful thoughts down allows you to soak in what really brings you joy. After jotting down a few things you’re grateful for, go back to the top of the list, read each gratitude again and really meditate on each one to feel its full power.
- Don’t just say ‘thank you’ say “THANK YOU” You probably say “thank you” more times in a day than you can count on both hands. But how many times do you actually feel thankful? It’s time to make those "thank you"s count! Not only will it help you gain positivity, but whomever you’re saying “thank you” to will feel your genuine approach and likely return in kind. It’s a win-win!
- Be grateful before you eat When dinner is ready, sometimes all we want to do is sit down and chow. But when we take a moment to be grateful for our food, it tastes that much better. Recognize that the food you’re about to eat has come a long way to get to your plate, and was prepared thoughtfully. For produce, seeds were planted, cared for, harvested, cleaned, packaged, shipped, unpacked and now are ready for you to enjoy. Stop and be thankful for your food. Observe each bite, and the flavors and nutrition that accompany it.
- Go to sleep with gratitude When getting ready for bed at the end of the day, take a moment to recall three good things that happened that day. Maybe it wasn’t an ideal day, but there is always something to be grateful for. Going to bed with a grateful mind will help to bring you a restful night of sleep and overall peace. Practicing these five quick and easy gratitude techniques takes only a few moments each day. Even if you have time for just one or two of these practices, you will begin to feel an abundance of positivity.