Now that we’ve reached the Holiday Season, the first being Thanksgiving, it is the perfect time to begin to practice gratitude. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return the kindness. It is correlated with optimism, which in turn makes us happy.
I began to practice gratitude recently. I am not sure why or how all a sudden I had the urge to practice gratitude, but it has been the most effective tool I’ve used so far to embrace who I am.
I urge that you begin to practice gratitude today! It is effortless and does not take much time or energy; however, it takes practice. I guarantee that once you do, you will see improvements in yourself– understand and appreciate life in a different way that you’ve never before.
Below I share four Reason and four ways to practice gratitude. I also include ten things I am grateful for and a simple 21 Days Challenge that I’ve tried when I first started to practice gratitude that takes less than 2 minutes each day to complete.
4 Ways to Reasons to Gratitude
1. Strengthens your awareness
The greatest gift you can give yourself is becoming consciously aware of the beauty and abundance in life. By practicing gratitude, you become aware of the present moment of what is happening right NOW. We learn the necessary acknowledgment that each moment of life is enough, no matter what experience, whether is pleasant or unpleasant.
2. Reduces the habit of complaining
“All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.” – Dennis Prage
People who complain often, don’t know that they are and have no control. Researchers found that our brains and bodies respond more to negativity than positivity, which is why people are prone to complain. Think about how often you complain in a day and what causes the adverse reaction or feeling. Gratitude is the antidote of negativity and complaining. By practicing gratitude, you are automatically able to reduce the habit of complaining by noticing every time you whine and asking yourself, why am I complaining? Is it worth my energy? What are the things at this moment (right now) that I am grateful?
3. Improves your health:
4. Makes you a happier person
Gratitude leads to a more sustainable form of happiness because it is not based on immediate gratification; its a frame of mind. It is an attitude and a way of living that makes you conscious of the simple things. It can even lead you to appreciate all living things nature that makes the earth a livable environment for us humans to live.
4 Ways to Practicing Gratitude
Please note that the list below is in order in the way I started to work on becoming grateful.
Writing in a journal about the things you are grateful is easy. The hard part is remembering to do it every day and being consistent. After searching for many journals online, the best one I’ve found is The Five Minute Journal. By merely writing three things you are thankful for every day, you will gradually see how much in life there is to appreciate.
2. Read books about Personal Development
Reading books about personal development can help you form a better understanding of its benefits, providing you with inspirational examples and suggestions of ways you can become grateful. I recommend the following books:
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**** by Mark Manson
- Buddism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen
- Girl, Wash your Face by Rachel Hollis
- Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
- You are a Bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
3. Meditation and Mindfulness
It has been found that meditation can reliably increase feelings of gratitude. Practicing meditation every day helps promote a positive mood, hope, and resilience. As we experience positive emotions, our awareness broadens, and our creativity and problem-solving capacities blossom, and we become more effective in whatever we choose to do in life.
4. Expressing and Sharing Gratitude
The ability to consistently experience gratitude is both a cultivated skill and a gift – one that must be shown and shared with others over and over again to realize its full power. You can express and share gratitude by:
- Being an active listener
- Being thoughtful to others
- Being a support system
- Volunteering your time
- Saying Thank You
Gratitude is a significant component of experiencing happiness. It is a selfless act that is worth practicing because it helps you find meaning in life– your life’s purpose. After reading this blog, start today, start now, and I promise that you will begin to appreciate the simplicity of life and evolve to a happier and healthier person.
10 THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR:
- Who I am.
- My awesome-strong mother.
- My amazing and loving husband.
- My job working at the Rubin Museum of Art.
- My website and blog.
- My best friend, Amy.
- My demanding boss whose personality I love.
- Paying off my debt.
- Living in Astoria, NY.
- Living life!
21 Days Challenge
Have trouble listing what you are grateful for? Below I share 21 Days Challenge to start you off!
Day 1 – What sound am I grateful for today?
Day 2 – What color am I grateful for?
Day 3 – What smell am I grateful for?
Day 4 – What texture am I grateful for?
Day 5 – What season am I grateful for?
Day 6 – What in nature am I grateful for?
Day 7 – What emotion am I grateful for?
Day 8 – Who in my life am I grateful for?
Day 9 – What song am I grateful for?
Day 10 – What about my body am I grateful for?
Day 11 – What abilities am I grateful for?
Day 12 – What about my surroundings am I grateful for?
Day 13 – What relationship am I grateful for?
Day 14 – What material possession am I grateful for?
Day 15 – What moment this week am I grateful for?
Day 16 – What about today am I grateful for?
Day 17 – What tradition am I most grateful for?
Day 18 – What hobby am I most grateful for?
Day 19 – What about me am I most grateful for?
Day 20 – What about life am I most grateful for?
Day 21 – What challenge am I grateful for?