How to practice gratitude in your everyday life

Here are five simple suggestions on how to be thankful for the blessings you have

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about gratitude and how to incorporate it into your everyday life. Here are five easy ways to start practicing gratitude and to start including it in your daily routine.

Wake up thankful

First thing in the morning, before you look and your phone and get consumed by the often jealous world of social media, take a moment to ask yourself what you are grateful for and to remind yourself of all the good in your life.

You can thank your body for all it does for you, take a moment to be appreciative of a characteristic you have or even just be thankful for waking up and getting to enjoy another day.

If you are having trouble getting started, you can try filling in the blanks to thoughts like, “I am grateful for _____,”  “I really appreciate how I _____” or “I’m so glad that _____.”

Think of five good things

Some days are just hard, and that’s okay. The important thing to remember is that no matter how bad a day seems, there is good in every day.

A good way to practice this is to take a moment each day, and especially on days in which nothing seems to be going right, to pause, reflect and find five good things that have occurred.

These don’t need to be monumental things, and there is no such thing as a “not-good-enough good thing.” Some days one of your good things may be that you had a good cup of coffee, and other days it might be going out and having dinner with friends you haven’t seen in a while. 

In doing this, you are training yourself to find the good in every day, no matter how small and eventually this skill will become a habit. 

Call your mom

…or anyone else who means a lot to you. Let them know how much you love and value them. Not only will you be making their day, but you will also be spreading the love to whomever you reach out to. Too often, we get caught up in the business of life and forget to check back in with those we love and care about. 

If phone calls aren’t up your alley, sending a quick text just to check in and see how they are doing is good too.

If you feel like going old school, you could even write them a letter and mail it out. The important thing is that you are reconnecting with a loved one and reminding them how much you care about them. 

Keep a gratitude journal

Find some place to write down things that make your grateful during the day. This is the perfect opportunity to use that gorgeous journal you picked up on a whim but haven’t found the right time to use yet. Fill your gratitude journal with things that bring you joy in your day, make you grateful, make you laugh or just make you smile.  Later, you can look back and reflect on those moments.

Do good deeds

Practicing gratitude doesn’t just mean saying thank you. Practicing gratitude can also mean sharing your own gifts with others.

Volunteering is a great way to help others, spread love and gratitude and also make yourself more aware of how fortunate you are. Good deeds don’t have to just be volunteering though; good deeds can include things such as saying good morning to the people in Commons at breakfast, thanking the housekeeping staff in your residence hall, holding the door for someone or even sharing a simple smile in passing on your walk to class.

~Taylor Vigil, Staff Writer~

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