You’ve heard gratitude is good for the soul, no doubt, and are thankful for several aspects of your life and the people you love. Nonetheless, it’s likely you only experience a sense of appreciation occasionally. The rest of the time, you forget how lucky you are and how terrific gratitude makes you feel. You might also overlook seemingly minor reasons to be grateful. Everything that makes your life more wonderful, however, is worth acknowledgment. Gratitude increases well-being by boosting immunity and joy. It puts a spring in your step and helps you see the world with a sunny perspective. Here’s how to cultivate an appreciative mind-set so you can enjoy the benefits it brings.
MEDITATE IN THE MORNING
First thing in the morning is a great time to instill positivity because your mind is open to suggestion. Your acknowledgment of gratitude for your blessings will reverberate throughout the day if you prime your mind early. When you open your eyes, before doing anything else, focus on whatever, and whoever, is in your life that brings you joy or comfort. Everything from your bed to your pet cat counts. Think about how the day is just beginning and has potential too. As it unfolds, you might have new experiences that lift your spirits. Look forward to the possibility of them occurring and be ready to welcome them.
ENJOY LIFE’S SMALL WONDERS
Note everything pleasant in your surroundings. Birdsong, the colorful sky, or the beauty of a fern unfurling in the garden are wonders of nature. Your mindset will become extra positive when you concentrate on beauty and are glad it exists. If your environment is mostly man-made, enjoy architecture. Marvel at arches, unusual windows, and interesting shapes and structures. Train your eyes to seek exquisiteness in everyday things. At the same time, note kind gestures like the friendly smile of a stranger or the way a colleague opens the door for you when you have armfuls of paperwork. Recognize when people encourage you to succeed or show signs of approval and your enthusiasm for life will expand.
KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
You’re grateful for many things, albeit fleetingly, throughout the day. Nonetheless, you will let moments of thankfulness slip away too easily, not stopping to enjoy them, when you are busy. Distractions are likely to steal your attention and divert your full acknowledgment of gratitude to mundane matters. Get into the habit of recording events that lift your spirit and fill you with appreciation and you’ll train your brain to linger with them as they occur.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
The past is over, as long as you let it rest. When you repeat old painful memories in your head like a stuck record, you keep mental anguish alive rather than fuel gratitude. Forward thinking isn’t always as smart as you might imagine either. It’s great to make plans and reach for goals, but not a terrific idea to second-guess how life might go wrong. Imagining worst-case scenarios increases stress and reduces thankfulness, so aim to live in the present. Present moment awareness gives you the freedom to live without the burden of stress caused by living in a non-existent time zone. There’s no moment other than right now in which to plant gratitude.
Kindness feeds compassion and gratitude. Whether you are kind to yourself or someone else, feelings of appreciation will grow. Acts of self-care, offers to help neighbors and friends, and beaming when a stranger catches your gaze can brighten the day and help you and people in your surroundings feel good.
Escalate joy by visiting the people and places you love, and your appreciation will expand. Likewise, engage in hobbies you enjoy. Remember everyday pleasures can help gratitude rise too. Listening to the birds sing in the morning and watching the sun come up will help you begin the day with a glad heart.
Tell people you are grateful for their help and support, or simply glad they are in your social circle. Let them know how much they mean to you and how thankful you are when they do things that help you. As a result, your gratitude will swell because of the intense focus and exchange of kind words. People will want to repeat acts of generosity too, since they know you appreciate them.
CONSIDER YOUR ABUNDANCE
Rather than ponder what you lack, enjoy your prosperity. Consider the many ways your life is filled with abundance. Perhaps you have plenty of friends, a loving family, a cozy home, or a fulfilling career. Then again, perhaps you are thankful for the profusion of flowers in your garden or the countryside near your abode. Reflect on these and consider yourself wealthy.
THINK ABOUT YOUR WELL-BEING
Consider your well-being, those aspects of your mental and physical health for which you are grateful. Forget your ailments and aches and pains for a while each day; you already focus on them a great deal. Pour attention into recognizing your healthy eyesight or keen sense of smell, or whatever attributes make you feel blessed. Note that the ability to enjoy the warmth of sun on your skin and hear the morning chorus of blackbirds is incredible and let thankfulness grow.