Gratitude for what we have is so important to a fulfilling life. It can be a total game-changer for anyone, no matter what circumstance you find yourself in.
Gratitude can change your mood almost immediately.
We’ve all thrown ourselves more pity parties than we’d like to admit. Complaining about our situation or feeling sorry for ourselves is nothing new. But, it puts us in a bad mood when we do.
Instead, focus on gratitude for everything that’s going right and everything you do have. You might be surprised how showing a little gratitude can lift your mood completely.
Gratitude can alter your emotional state. Focusing on gratitude can be an antidote to stress and worry.
Say you’re stressed about gaining weight, and it’s too overwhelming to get started. Coming back to gratitude for a body that can move well will instantly calm our nerves and empower us to take care of the body we’re so grateful for.
Gratitude can change your life.
Imagine what a lifetime of gratitude can do. Instead of feeling victimized by what happens to us, remembering that we all have something to be grateful for can help us turn our lives around.
So, how can we learn to have more gratitude in our everyday lives? Here are five tips.
Keep a gratitude journal.
If every morning you wake up and write down three things you’re thankful for, you’re starting the day on the right foot. Setting a tone of gratitude in the morning makes it easier to manage everything life throws your way.
You can write down physical things like having a roof over your head or your fabulous legs. Or it can be more abstract, like your ability to meet a challenge or your sense of humor.
Designate gratitude cues.
Interrupting ungracious thoughts and attitudes help us show more gratitude. You might designate some cues to help you get out of the bad habits of complaining or feeling sorry for yourself.
Change your passwords to “imgratefulfor” to remind yourself of gratitude every time you log into your computer.
Hang the phrase “Stay Grateful” on your door to look at when you leave the house.
Snap your fingers every time you catch yourself lingering on ungrateful thoughts to snap yourself out of it.
Soon enough, you won’t even need cues to remind yourself to be grateful. Gratitude will be fully integrated into your routine.
Remember the bad times.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to have more gratitude is by remembering all the other bad times you’ve managed to get through.
Life is full of challenges. They’ll never end. If we can trust ourselves and have gratitude for our ability to push through when times are tough, it helps us remain grateful.
Spend time with others who show gratitude.
If you’re always around people who complain and feel entitled to something more than they already have, it won’t help nurture your feelings of gratitude.
As the saying goes, misery loves company. Instead of falling into a circle of complaining with friends and relatives, try changing the subject to remind everyone how much they have to be grateful for.
Say thank you.
Ok - this one might be a little obvious. But it works. Of course, it’s important to thank your spouse when they cook dinner or say thank you to a stranger when they hold open the door. Saying thank you out loud does wonders.
But, what if we also said thank you to the things that didn’t go our way?
Say thank you to the sore muscles that remind you of how hard you worked yesterday at the gym. Say thank you to the difficult coworker that forces you to communicate better. Say thank you to the traffic that allowed you to listen to a riveting podcast this morning.
Say thank you to all of it. Say thank you to life.
Practicing these gratitude tips can set you on a path toward totally changing your life. Give them a try and see how much better you feel with a little more gratitude.