How many times do we say, “But I’m just too busy today!” in interactions with friends and family? Hello, 21st-century life. One that is devoid of practicing gratitude, and for good reason. It is a busy world out there. Regardless, we have all been asked to practice gratitude in our daily lives at some point. Again, for good reason. Simply defined, gratitude involves being thankful for the multitude of aspects of our lives that bring us joy and comfort. It has various benefits for our overall wellbeing. For starters, it slows down our lives, makes us happier, and improves relationships with loved ones. All that just through a simple exercise? Now, that’s exhilarating! If performed correctly, exercising gratitude takes only a few minutes and can be a sustainable habit. So let’s breeze through some ways on how to practice gratitude to find a calmer and happier you!
Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Research indicates that practicing gratitude can be the paramount cause in relieving stress. This is because the brain region associated with gratitude is connected to the part controlling your heart rate. The ‘warm’ feelings linked with expressing appreciation for someone else can calm your body and mind. Additionally, you are also less prone to indulge in negative emotions like envy and resentment if you practice daily gratitude.
More positivity – yes, please! If you are not convinced yet, then research showing how gratitude routines can be booster shots for social relationships is a certain reason to consider. If you notice the little things that your family does – you are more likely to have stronger relationships.
If you think about it, these naturally have cyclical effects on our lives and others by virtue of the futuristic benefits of gratitude. Your partner will consider being just as grateful as you are if you admire their love, presence, and positive attributes. A manager saying thank you to his staff will get a harder working employee and thus, higher company revenue. Cha-ching! Those who practice gratitude daily are also more likely to take care of themselves. This makes intuitive sense because a more grateful you respect your body and mind and is willing to take care of it.
Have these benefits motivated you to explore ways on how to practice gratitude? Begum C has listed down a few different ways to practice gratitude.
Ways to Practicing Gratitude
First thing’s first. If you are inconsistent in inducting gratitude into your life or completely missing its presence, begin by accepting that you possess the capacity to change that. There is nothing wrong with the acceptance of the truth. In fact, honesty facilitates the gratitude journey and serves as an effective tool in bringing productive changes. For clarity’s sake, gratitude is a diverse term and features a myriad of practices. You can consider it to be anything from improving how genuinely you appreciate the person who has opened the door for you to volunteer at a community center for the impoverished. It does not have to be one size fits all and can be a flexible exercise, one that is pertinent and subjective to your lifestyle. So be okay with practicing gratitude in the smaller things and feel free to start there.
Nurture It in Your Daily Routine
If you want to sustain practicing gratitude, put in a bit of work in setting reminders everywhere. In your kitchen. The bathroom. And your car. What’s so bad about spreading some positivity on the road? And no, people will not consider you an outcast or a relic from a distant past. Sure, you might get a few stares but they’re most likely going to be out of love. People are looking for inspiration, so here’s a chance to be the changemaker you’re destined to be. These reminders can be short sentences or inspiring gratitude quotes in places that you frequent regularly. All to avoid forgetting your daily gratitude routine. Having a whiteboard in your living room or bedroom with 3 things you are grateful for in the day is also a useful way to set reminders. This way, you won’t have to constantly remind yourself – your surroundings will do the work for you.
Make Practicing Gratitude a Social Activity
Human beings are naturally social. You’re social and so am I. Aren’t we more productive and happier when we play sports with friends? Do presentation run-throughs with colleagues or have dinner with family? Gratitude exercises can be a social experience, too. For example, have one person share an aspect of their day that they are grateful for around the dinner table. Or procure a gratitude buddy who you can show all of the things you are grateful for. If there are restrictions to physical proximity, you can agree on gratitude e-dates with your partner or a friend requiring each to share three things you were grateful for in the day. Simply talking to someone helps you see the ordinary details of your life through another set of lens. And, automatically renews your perspective on your material and nonmaterial possessions.
Research also shows the two-way benefits of writing letters to people you are grateful for or those who have helped you. Have you ever felt good about yourself when you expressed gratitude to someone else? Isn’t that just the best feeling?
Allow for Creativity
Writing a three-point list of things you are grateful for every day can become redundant, right? This is probable for any other way you have decided to practice gratitude. So how about stirring up your gratitude practices? You may consider writing letters two days of the week. And, alternate between using a gratitude buddy and having dinner table gratitude sessions on the remaining days. As for further choices, you could use your whiteboard or simply process gratitude in your mind. Maintaining flexibility between the plethora of exercises for practicing gratitude allows room for creativity and adds flavor to your gratitude practices. This will also indubitably reduce the chances of your daily gratitude habits withering away. Remember: you are allowed adaptability in this very simple and small task of practicing gratitude.
Not hard at all, is it? And before you know it, you’ll be practicing gratitude without even blinking an eye. It will become second nature to you. Consistency pays off and alludes to the remarkable power of our minds. You are meant to spread love and joy in this world. And, you may very well start by simply using these tools on how to practice gratitude. You’re this close to being happier, healthier, and calmer. So, don’t give up and get on the gratitude wagon – it is bound to take you to rewarding places!
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