Putting pen to paper to record what we are grateful for and what we hope to achieve has become an increasingly popular hobby. That’s right, practicing gratitude is on the rise! While many people were already doing this regularly, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly highlighted how lucky we are.
Before the pandemic came about, we were falling over our feet busy. When the lockdown came in, it meant we had more headspace and, as a result, more time to think. What’s more, a lot of people were negatively affected by the pandemic. For that reason, many have been jotting down what they are grateful for in their journal daily.
Practicing mindfulness continues to become a popular daily activity. With World Gratitude Day (21st of September) just around the corner, we thought we would create a list of 10 ways to practice gratitude. For newcomers and gratitude connoisseurs, consider this your ultimate guide!
Why Should I Practice Gratitude?
There are many benefits to practicing gratitude; in particular, those who do so may experience positive changes to their mood. This is because focusing on what you are grateful for ultimately helps you be more optimistic about your life.
What’s more, it is likely to encourage you to be more compassionate as you will realise what you have in life and, in turn, feel grateful for it. Research has also suggested you may find yourself leading a less materialistic life due to greater satisfaction with life. What’s more, you will be less likely to feel burnt out and less tired. In addition, practicing gratitude is said to provide you with greater wisdom, patience, and humility.
10 Tips For Practicing Gratitude
Now that you know what practicing gratitude refers to and how it could help you, let’s get into how you can begin practicing gratitude.
1. Buy a Journal Solely For Practicing Gratitude
One of the best ways to start practicing gratitude is to write down everything you are grateful for. The act of writing something down means your brain will be focused on that as opposed to being distracted by something else. This also helps if you are having a low day, as you can look back on these pages to make yourself feel better.
To do this, buy a journal and keep that solely for practicing gratitude. It’s best to keep it separate from your other journals and notebooks. Then, jot down what you are grateful for as well as other positive things. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly. Decide how you want to schedule this activity, and then stick to that regularly! If you are busy, you could buy something like the Five Minutes in the Morning journal.
2. When Life Gives You Sour Lemons, Try to Make Lemonade
I know what you are thinking – “I was reading an article about practicing gratitude; what does that have to do with lemons.” We hope it didn’t confuse you too much! We mean that life provides us with a lot of challenges and obstacles, and these are the kinds of situations or lemons that can bring you down. To practice gratitude successfully and see a difference in yourself, you need to look at the positive.
In other words, try to identify the positive components of those challenges. Thinking positively can help these situations and also help you to cope during these intense challenges.
3. Think Big When Jotting Down What You’re Grateful For
You may find practicing gratitude a bit tricky at the beginning. Some people have a hard time nailing down the exact things they are grateful for. In other words, whether it is the big things, the small things, or what they need to live. For example, do I mention food? Hot running water? My new job promotion? That someone was kind to me on the bus today?
The answer is yes. Gratitude is not just applicable to the greater things in life like promotions; it is everything in between. Therefore, appreciating all that you have is incredibly important. You should recognise that there is nothing too small to be grateful for when making your lists.
4. Jot Down Five Things You Are Grateful For Daily
If you are not yet a pro at practicing gratitude, an excellent way to immerse yourself in the activity is to jot down five things you are grateful for each day. Doing this every day will ultimately make you feel more grateful and content. Not to mention, it won’t consume too much of your day.
5. Add More to Your List
To get all the benefits of practicing gratitude, you should keep your eyes peeled for new things you are grateful for. The reason why practicing gratitude works is that it changes how we perceive things by changing what our brain focuses on. Therefore, it is important to recognise new things you are grateful for and add them to your list.
6. Take Action From Your Gratitude Lists
While it is great to jot down what you are grateful for, it is also essential to take some action to start making fundamental changes in your life. For example, visit your family to spend more time with them if you have mentioned them on your list. Continue to look after your good health. If you want to think bigger and achieve more, try practicing manifestation and other mindfulness techniques to bring you to the next level.
7. Volunteer Your Time
If journaling and writing down what you are grateful for is not for you, volunteering your time may be a better option. Even if you enjoy this, volunteering could still be a great way to give back to people who need your help.
Sparing some time to help people in need will ultimately make you more thankful for what you have and less likely to take things for granted. Research has also discovered that doing this can improve our mental health. Therefore, it seems to be a win, win scenario!
Meditation can be a great way to practice gratitude. Not to mention, research has found it helps us to cope better with stress and become more compassionate. There are meditation routines and techniques tailored explicitly for gratitude too. If you don’t already meditate and are unsure where to begin, find a quiet spot and clear your mind. Breathe in and out, close your eyes, and relax for five to 10 minutes.
You could also look into taking a yoga class if you find you enjoy meditation. In addition, there are lots of books out there that can teach you about meditation. Likewise, you can easily find meditation journals like the Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal which enables you to record your thoughts, emotions and unlock the benefits of meditation.
9. Practice Self-Care
It is excellent news that you want to practice gratitude but do remember to look after yourself too. Being kind to yourself is so important and goes a long way in enhancing your wellbeing. Try to think of three positive things about yourself each day. As humans, we are very negative, and this can affect us significantly.
10. Share Your Gratitude
Another good way to increase your feelings of gratitude is by sharing them with others. Make your partner aware of your gratitude for their presence in your life. Tell your mother how thankful you are for all she has done for you. This will not only make their day, but it will also enhance your wellbeing and increase your gratitude levels!
Will You Be Practicing Gratitude For World Gratitude Day?
Practicing gratitude, journaling and mindfulness have become all the rage over the last few years. There are a lot of benefits to practicing gratitude, mainly for your mental wellbeing. World Gratitude Day is approaching. Will you be following some of our tips to kickstart your gratitude journey?