Take a quiet moment to think about the last time you showed gratitude; close your eyes and let your thoughts flow back to a specific encounter. Can you remember the emotions that presented themselves to you? Do you feel a sense a happiness? Calmness? Perhaps joy? You should!
Although a common word, gratitude is not used often in casual conversation. Instead, it’s used more in specific circumstances such as a thank you card, New Year’s resolution or a phone call with a loved one living many miles away. But why should we only reserve gratitude for special occasions? Adopting a regular gratitude practice has the ability to completely alter your life for the better, both mentally and physically.
According to Harvard Medical School, the definition of gratitude is as follows: “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.”
We promise incorporating these five gratitude practices in your everyday life will make a notable and positive difference in your self-confidence and mental strength, instill healthier relationships, foster better sleep patterns and more. The rewards are endless!
Write it down. Dedicate 5 minutes every Sunday to writing down a minimum of 5 things that you’re especially thankful for in the upcoming week such as meeting a friend for dinner or giving a kick-ass presentation at work. Creating a space to acknowledge what you’re looking forward to will relieve impending anxiety, increase your serotonin levels and help your mind and body relax for a more peaceful night.
Take a mindfulness walk. Step outside for a walk sans headphones and observe your surroundings. Use this time to disconnect from technology and take in all of the beauty around you. You’ll begin to notice little things that make you smile like different smells in the air or the color of the leaves.
Commit to 1 day a week of no complaints. It’s easy to talk about what’s going wrong and why you don’t like something. Spend one day a week, actively acknowledging the words coming out of your mouth and instead, engage in positive conversation.
Get busy in the kitchen. Cooking can be
extremely therapeutic and offers feelings of accomplishment and thankfulness all in one act. From purchasing fresh ingredients to carefully prepping the recipe, you’ll feel instantly satisfied and appreciative of the effort you just be forth to provide a balanced meal for yourself.
Turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Notice when negative thoughts start presenting themselves and immediately think about the silver lining. Sure, you may be feeling down about an upcoming task or situation but there will always be something good to come out of it. Tune into that.