Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude To Transform Your Life
Life can sometimes be overwhelming and it’s hard to stay in a good mood. I discovered that when I give thanks for the little things — practicing gratitude — my mindset shifts from doom and gloom to hope. Gratitude can help you stay positive and give you a better outlook on life. It is expressing how thankful you are for things in your life and for your way of being. You may express gratitude by praying, writing it down in a journal, or just speaking it.
When you express gratitude, you take your mind away from situations that might be causing you stress or worry, and instead focus on the many blessings in your life. While facing life’s difficulties can be daunting, it is possible to transform your life if you regularly practice gratitude. By living with an attitude of gratitude, life can become more meaningful, no matter what challenges you face. Because when your mind is not entangled with worry and frustration it is free to come up with solutions to your daily challenges.
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Why practice gratitude
Research shows that people who practice gratitude can experience significant mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. Studies have also shown that those who make it a habit to express thanks, experience more joy and contentment in life. When we express gratitude, our brains perceive it as a pleasant emotion, which in turn encourages us to continue behaving gratefully. This behavior also promotes social bonding and cultivates happiness.
So if you’re feeling stuck and need a mindset shift, why not start by practicing gratitude? It may sound simple, but this small step can lead to big results in your life. Below you’ll find some simple ways to practice gratitude to transform your life. Not only will they give your life more meaning and purpose but these simple ways to give thanks can help you gain a more positive outlook and attitude – leading to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Practiced regularly, you’ll find gratitude helps to shift your mindset to a more positive one, and allows you to reduce stress, worry, and anxiety at the same time. An attitude of gratitude!
Make the shift to gratefulness
Make up your mind that you’re going to find things in your life to be grateful for. It doesn’t mean you ignore what’s wrong. It means setting your intentions and adding gratitude to your daily routine. This is when you choose what you want to do, and come up with the details. In this case, it will be setting the intention to express gratitude when you’re tempted to let your problems overwhelm you.
Start by setting an intention to cultivate a gratitude practice in your daily routine. Recognize the importance of gratitude and its potential impact on your mental health. Make up your mind that no matter what you’re facing, you’ll give thanks. Remember that it’s the intense pressure that creates a diamond. So even your problems or someone causing you problems can help you be grateful.
Finally, when my sons complain about something in their life that’s not going right, and once I offer my comfort and sympathy, I encourage them to shift their perspective. If it’s a complaint about their job. I will ask them to consider that others do not have jobs and are struggling to pay their bills. And although this is just a tiny example, it hopefully gives you an idea of what I mean when I ask you to make the shift to gratefulness.
Decide how you’ll express gratitude
One of the most popular ways to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal — gratitude journaling. Get a notebook or a journal specifically for this purpose. When you write your gratitude down, aim for about 3-5, no matter how small they might seem to you. If it is something that makes you happy or feels like you are blessed, then it is something to be grateful for.
But here’s the thing, as Christians, we know that we’re instructed to give thanks in every situation. So gratitude isn’t a new thing.
Decide on a specific time of day that works best for you to write in your journal. It could be in the morning, before bed, during a meal, or any other time that fits seamlessly into your routine. Consistency is key, so choose a time that you can commit to regularly. Additionally, research suggests that when you practice gratitude journaling immediately before going to bed you get better sleep. Win-win!
However, if there is a day when you don’t have time for journaling, or simply don’t want to write anything down, you can simply think of your gratitude in your mind. When you have a few quiet minutes, go inward and think of everything you are grateful for. Remember the good things that happen, think fondly of happy memories, and be mindful about what you feel gratitude for. This is often enough.
Make gratitude a part of your mindfulness practice
Gratitude doesn’t have to be reserved only for specific times of the day or when writing in a journal. You can practice gratitude in the present moment by paying attention to the things you are grateful for as they happen. Notice the beauty in nature, appreciate the taste of your food or express gratitude for the people around you. Be mindful of the present moment and practice gratitude as a way of life.
I love walking on the beach or in nature and when I do, I usually give thanks to God for the beauty he created for us to enjoy. Psalm 19:1 is one of my favorite scripture especially when walking in nature. Sometimes I will lay on the beach or grass and look up at the sky or watch the clouds, in child-like wonder. It doesn’t matter what hell I’m going through. This is one of my favorite ways to focus on something other than my problems, shift my mindset, and give thanks.
But even if you can’t go to the beach or walk in nature you can still be mindful while being grateful in the moment. Even for the fact that your eyes are seeing and your mind is comprehending this text.
Allow gratitude to become part of who you are
When you develop an attitude of gratitude it will start to become a part of who you are. Developing a routine and writing it down is great. But those are just things you do to practice gratitude. Why not make giving thanks a part of your being? While having a schedule for gratitude journaling is crucial to your mental health, being grateful in every situation will give you the transformation you so desperately desire.
So go ahead. Make giving thanks normal in your life. When I was in high school I worked with a neighbor who cleaned offices for a living. I would go with her sometimes to earn some pocket change. What I noticed about this lady is that even though life was obviously rough with this widow and mother of four young children, she never complained. I would complain about how cold it was but she would just give thanks for the fresh air and the rain. Unbelievable! But that’s who she was. Grateful!
No matter what’s going on in your life, there is always something to be grateful for. I like to tell people who ask me how I’m doing that I got out of bed without assistance, I’m breathing on my own, and I can walk to wherever I need to be. This means that regardless of what’s going on in my life — and lately it’s been a doozy — there’s always something to be grateful for.
Expressing gratitude is good. Becoming grateful is better. When gratefulness becomes a part of who you are it doesn’t feel like “doing”. It feels like “being”.
Practice gratitude until it becomes natural. Your well-being depends on it. So, make it a habit to practice gratitude each day – even if it is only for a few minutes. Take a few moments to recognize and appreciate the good in your life – be thankful for friends, family, and all the wonderful things that are there for you. Find moments to be grateful for the little things – a beautiful sunset, a good book, a cup of hot coffee – to cultivate a sense of appreciation and contentment in your life. You will be amazed at how this simple practice can transform your life.
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What’s the one thing that you’re grateful for today? Let us know in the comment below. Thanks.