“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. it turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feat, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie
In order to lead a life full of mindfulness and positivity, incorporating gratitude in to every day is essential. Gratitude is important because it allows us to celebrate the present and to find joy in all the little details of our lives. It builds on and perpetuates positivity; it makes you feel good and helps you to make others feel good too!
Research on how humans retain emotion shows that positive feelings wear off very quickly, they can be sabotaged in an instant! Gratitude helps us to nourish our souls daily with constant nuggets of positivity. It also gets us back out into the world, interacting with our fellow people. We spend so much time observing these days; sports, computer games, T.V. Ensure you are a participant in life, as opposed to just an observer, by practicing gratitude.
It is not hard to implement gratitude, there are many small and simple ways to practice.
1. Gratitude Journal
One of the most popular ways to show gratitude daily is to keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes, every week, or every day if you can manage it, to write down all the things that you are grateful for in that moment. This works so well because it requires you to take a minute to think and really identify everything in your life that is good. Many studies have backed up the act of writing down the things which make us grateful as something that produces tremendous benefits. These benefits include better sleep, less illness, and, of course, happier people.
2. Thank You Letters
Nobody really sends thank you letters any more, it is an old-fashioned way of communicating. But here is the thing, sending a thank you letter, or even leaving a thank you post-it on a colleague’s desk, shows that you have made an extra effort to thank them. Anyone can blast off a text or e-mail within seconds. A handwritten note adds a sprinkle of surprise and a shot of joy to the recipient.
3. Random Acts of Kindness
Do something nice for someone you love, and not just because they have asked you to! If you are thankful to someone, go out of your way and make a little effort to brighten up their day. Grab them a surprise coffee perhaps? What do they like? Maybe there is a particular pastry they are partial to from a certain café… go grab them one on your way in to work to say thanks. It doesn’t have to be restricted to work either; why not clean the house or cook dinner for your partner, just because?
4. Public Praise
If you want to thank someone and really let the world know about it, do it publicly. Sometimes this is not appropriate, but sometimes appreciation is shown best when you are so thankful to somebody else you fell compelled to make everyone aware! This makes you feel good, your recipient feel great and it showers positive vibes onto all who hear it. Also, saying thank you in person is an opportunity to make a real human connection… something you don’t get when thanking someone through a note or a phone call.
5. No Complaints
It’s amazing how well this works. Try not complaining about a thing for 24 hours. First of all, you will be amazed at the amount of times you have to stop yourself having those negative thoughts. We do it all the time! Instead of approaching a situation with a complaint you have two options. Either you realise it doesn’t matter, and you let it go, or you work on finding a solution. This makes your outlook not only more positive, but also more productive.
6. Gratitude for Today
Let’s take a leaf out of the Dalai Lama’s book:
“Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am 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.’”
Welcome every day of your life with a smile. Be thankful for the new day, and walk into it with positivity, whatever it may hold in store.
By Chris Thomson
Struggling to see the good in your day? There are loads of reasons to be happy, check them out! Reasons to Be Happy
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