After months of shopping for gifts and holiday meals, making travel plans and making sure no one is left out of family events, cleaning the house, wrapping all the gifts and even trimming the tree it's easy to still feel overwhelmed! Sometimes these details can overshadow and darken the true spirit of these happy holidays.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on gratitude. Gratitude is the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to you, and practicing gratitude is good for your health. Research shows practicing gratitude can enhance your quality of life and the health benefits are wide-ranging.
Here are 8 ways to have more gratitude in your daily life.
1. Appreciate everything
The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life. There is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
2. Find gratitude in negative or difficult challenges
It’s easy to be thankful for positive experiences, but we can also be thankful in difficult situations. Thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you do have to be thankful for! Reflect on some of your own past experiences. Have they helped shape you into the person you are today?
3. Practice mindfulness
Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. Picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. You’ll feel happier after every session as you rewire your brain to naturally be more grateful.
4. Keep a gratitude journal
Write down your positive thoughts! After your mindfulness sessions record all of the things you are thankful for. You can journal on a regular schedule weekly or monthly.
Helping others helps you! For many of us, the key to having more gratitude is to give back to others. Not only will it make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted, but it can increase your own ability to have more gratitude.
6. Express yourself
Don’t keep your gratitude to yourself. You can increase your feelings of gratitude by simply expressing that gratitude to the people you care about. Showing your gratitude to someone else makes their day a little brighter, and can do wonders for increasing your own levels of gratitude.
7. Spend time with loved ones
During a pandemic it’s sometimes very difficult to spend time with your friends and family. Use the video chatting tools that are available to you to strengthen your relationships and practice acts of gratitude on people that you care about. For instance, make sure you’re listening intently the next time someone shares a story, or find a reason to compliment someone on their new shoes or hair cut!
8. Improve happiness in other areas of your life
Being grateful helps make you happy, and being happy can also make you grateful. Increase your mood by exercising or participating in a hobby you enjoy. Once the endorphins are flowing, you’ll show gratitude even easier and you’ll be able to make list after list of all of the things in your life you’re thankful for.
Jul 8, 2016,05:07pm EDT