Gratitude is the key to a happier and more fulfilled life.
There are so many simple and small things you can do improve your day-to-day life. It’s important that we all stop and reflect on our life every now and then. In this article, we’re looking at ways you can inject happiness into your life and other people’s too. Let's talk about gratitude.
A Bit About Gratitude
When you’re going through hard times, it’s difficult to increase your awareness of things you should be grateful for. However, you shouldn’t just feel an appreciation for moments in your life when they’re going well, but all the time.
What is Gratitude?
Most of us associate gratitude with manners, such as saying “thank you” to someone who’s given us a gift. However, from a scientific point of view, it isn’t just an action or phrase. Instead, it’s a positive emotion which serves a purpose in making us feel good about life. Throughout history, many people have given different definitions to gratitude. As science doesn’t have measureable effects, positive psychology defines it in a way to show how the effects can be measured.
Many believe that gratitude is key to a happy life, because if you’re not grateful, you will always want to have something else or more.
Why is Gratitude Important?
By applying a positive energy to your life, it actually makes you a happier person in general. For example, a five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your well-being by more than 10 percent. Also, it improves your health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career. These are all aspects of our life most of us would like to improve.
Research has also show that being grateful actually makes people like us more. It makes us nicer, more trusting, more social and appreciative to wide variety of aspects in your life. As a result, this helps to deepen current relationships, improve self-esteem and help to make more friends. Furthermore, it’s suggested that gratitude makes you more effective in your career too. For example, it helps you to network easier and more effectively, increase your decision, productivity and achieve your career goals. Also, you’ll make the workplace a more enjoyable and friendly place to exist for others too.
In addition, showing gratitude makes us happier and more optimistic about life. For example, a five-minute-a-day journal about what you’re grateful for is a great way to benefit you and get you started on this new journey. When we’re happier, it positively impacts our health, and lifespan, as a result.
When and How Often Should You Practice Gratitude?
There are many stages to practicing gratitude, and it all depends on which method you choose/prefer. Without a doubt, gratitude should play a part in your life every day. You don’t need to go out of your way or do anything extreme to practice this new method. Your first step is to notice how your perception on gratitude currently is. Notice your day-to-day world from a point of gratitude. You’ll become amazed at all the goodness in our lives we take for granted.
Keep a gratitude journal. This is a great way to get you noticing more of the people/things you’re grateful for. Note one or two things down on a daily basis. You don’t need anything fancy to achieve this. A pen and notebook will do.
You should also practice gratitude when you hear a negative trait from someone. Try to turn this into a positive trait in your mind to adjust the view in your head. Also, be conscious of what you say aloud. Are you adding positive or negative energy to the world? When you find yourself in a bad situation, try to acknowledge what you can learn from the situation. Consider what you can be grateful for and how it’s helped you to grow.
Quick and Easy Tips for Showing Gratitude
Now that we’ve looked at the importance of showing gratitude and how often/when to practice it, let’s take a look at some tips on showing gratitude in your daily life.
1. Handwrite a Letter to a Loved One
Show a loved one that you’re thinking of them by handwriting a letter. This can be a personal message to express how much you love and appreciate their presence. Or, perhaps it can share some of your true feelings for this person. It doesn’t matter if this is a partner, friend, or family member. Skip the texts and online messages, and handwrite a letter of encouragement and inspiration for someone who needs it.
If you recognize that someone is going through a rough time, it’s a thoughtful idea to express how much you’re grateful for them being in your life.
2. Journal Your Blessings
This second tip is a popular one for people practicing gratitude. Purchase a journal and update it every day/night. Perhaps opt for night so you can reflect on your day and how it presented you with wonderful gifts and opportunities. For example, write down at least one thing that you’re grateful for each day. It doesn’t matter how big/small this is, just that it made you appreciate being alive. Also, this method is a wonderful way to look back on your years and see what you’re learnt. By journaling your blessings, you need to have an awareness and openness throughout the day. For example, did you compliment a stranger? Did an old friend contact you? Or perhaps you’ve done something for someone else today. For example, perform a random act of kindness for someone you love to remind them that you’re thinking of them.
3. Be the Support for Someone in Need
Everyone goes through hard times in their life, and we sometimes need people by our side. Show gratitude for life by being the support system for someone in need. When people are going through a rough time, they need as much support as possible. Don’t wait until someone reaches you to you, but be there for them. Perhaps you could check in with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Invite them for a coffee and be the ears they need.
4. Send a Small Gift to Someone You Know
Many of us love receiving gifts because it shows that the person has thought about us during their day. Treat a loved one to surprise gift; it doesn’t need to be expensive or luxurious, so long as it’s personal. Most importantly, the gift should have meaning to the recipient. For example, if they love a certain type of chocolate, purchase some from the grocery and leave it by their doorstep for the morning. Treat a friend to a cup of coffee. The gift needs to represent that you truly value your relationship with is person and know them better than others. Finally, if the gift is generic, it won’t seem as meaningful.
5. Smile at Others
Smiling releases endorphins, and even when you don’t feel at your happiest, this action can boost your mood. This is one of the easiest ways to show gratitude, but is highly effective. Smiling is contagious and brightens someone’s day. Think about when a stranger smiled at you in the past. How did it make you feel? Combine this with a thank you or compliment, and you’ll make someone’s day. Also, smiling makes you more approachable and people recognize this as a positive trait. As a result, people will see that you’re genuine and loving.
Can Gratitude Change Our Lives?
There are so many ways to show gratitude. But, we wanted to express the most effective and important ones. Making someone’s life better and worth living is an amazing feeling, and we want everyone to experience that.
Do you think gratitude can change our lives? We’d love to hear your tips and thoughts on this topic. Share your opinion in the comments to keep this conversation going.
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