It’s been proven that the act of showing gratitude can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life. The power of showing thanks lies in changing your internal focus from one of negativity (where you focus on the things you DON’T have) to one of positivity (where you focus on the things you DO have). However, expressing appreciation for the things in your life is often easier said than done, especially on a bad day. Read on for 10 simple ways to incorporate more gratitude into your day-to-day life.
10 Simple Ways to Be Thankful:
- Keep a journal. At the end of the day, record five things for which you’re grateful in your journal. Take time to look back periodically at what you’ve written to note the recurring themes.
- Take in the Moment. In our rushed lives, it’s easy to always be somewhere else: on your phone, thinking of your to-do list, daydreaming, etc…Instead of shifting your attention away from the moment, bring it back. For example, if you’re with your child, really watch what she is trying to show you. If you’re walking down a busy street, take in the sounds, sights and smells of whatever town you’re in.
- Meditate. To help you be more mindful of each moment in your life, incorporate a regular mediation practice into your routine. Five minutes a day is all you need to begin to be more aware of your thought patterns.
- Find the Silver Lining. Be grateful for the events that don’t seem so great on the surface. Did you mess up at work? Be grateful for the opportunity to learn. Did you miss the train? Be thankful you live in a bustling city where another train will be along shortly.
- Take Care of Yourself. It’s easier to feel good about life when you feel good. Rest, exercise and a healthy diet should not be underestimated.
- Make Gratitude a Family Affair. Create a family ritual where you, your significant other and children share three things you appreciated from your day. The dinner table is a great place to do this.
- Help Someone Else. Volunteering is a natural mood booster. Helping others is a great way to get out of your own head and to focus on other people’s needs. Volunteer experiences can also help you see that others struggle more than you do and that you should be grateful for what you have.
- Give Bedtime Thanks. Take time before falling asleep to reflect on the event, person or place for which you were most grateful that day. Some people do this in the form of a prayer. Simply reflecting on the topic of appreciation in your mind works as well.
- Share it with the World! Did you enjoy the cookies your co-worker baked? Tell her! Were you thrilled you didn’t have to remind your teenager to make his bed? Make sure he knows how you feel. Sharing gratitude with others is a boost for you and for them.
- Believe It. Find power in an attitude of gratitude. When you do, you’ll find it in more and more places.
Happy Thanksgiving from North Shore Pediatric Therapy!