When life becomes habitual, it’s easy to take it for granted. Many people are unaware of the things that provide them comfort, joy, and stability. Often times, it takes an unexpected event to open your eyes to the blessings in your life. But wouldn’t it be better to appreciate them every day?
Cultivating gratitude in your daily life can have many positive effects on your well-being. You may start to express more positive emotions and experience happier relationships. It may even ease depression and boost your ability to bounce back from stress. These ideas will help get you started on a new frame of mind.
Start a Gratitude Journal
You don’t have to be an amazing writer to keep a journal. Begin by making a list each day of things that you are thankful for. In a recent study, participants who wrote daily gratitude writings experienced higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. You’ll be able to literally count your blessings in front of you. When you’re finished, read over your list. It would be surprising if you didn’t find yourself smiling at least on the inside.
Practice Being Present
Being in the present moment allows you to take notice of things you may normally ignore. Focus on breathing and the feeling of your stomach rising and falling with each breath. Take note of your body working to keep you healthy and well. Listen to the sounds around you and let them pass through you. It feels good to “just be”. Thank your body for everything it does for you each day. You work hard! And, since you know how hard you work each day, maybe you’ll feel a little more thankful for all of the other hard-working people you know.
Don’t forget that a simple thank you can go a long way. Expressing gratitude through writing and focusing on the present can help to remind you that there is so much to be grateful for each day, even on your very worst day. Thank someone you love today.