Gratitude is an emotion similar to appreciation and research has found neurological reasons why so many people can benefit from this general practice of expressing thanks for our lives, even in times of challenge and change.
Gratitude is such a powerful emotion, one that can make your life better in so many ways. It’s quite difficult to feel depressed or sorry for yourself when you are feeling gratitude.
In a study carried out by Emmons & McCullough in 2003, there was a multitude of benefits from keeping a gratitude journal. A simple notebook where you write down daily what you are grateful for. The study showed that the people who kept a journal exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and was more optimistic. It also showed that people who kept the journal were more likely to make progress towards their goals.
Overall, there was a greater sense of feeling connected to others, a, more optimistic view of life, and better sleep quality, relative to a control group.
If you would like to experience some of these great benefits, why not try some of these simple ways to make gratitude a part of every day.
Here are 40 simple ways to make gratitude a part of every day.
- Keep a gratitude journal and add to it every day.
- Tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them.
- Notice the beauty in nature each day.
- Nurture the friendships you have, good friends don’t come along every day.
- Smile more often.
- Watch inspiring videos that will remind you of the good in the world.
- Include an act of kindness in your life each day.
- Avoid negative media and movies with destructive content.
- Call your mom or dad more often.
- Cook meals with love, think of the people you will feed.
- Volunteer for organizations that help others.
- Don’t gossip or speak badly about anyone.
- Spend quality time with your kids, or your lover.
- Remember to compliment your friends and family when they look good.
- Write a card to someone you haven’t seen in a while and tell them something nice.
- Add to your gratitude list daily, at least one more thing each day.
- When you think a negative thought, try to see the positive side in the situation.
- Commit to one day a week when you won’t complain about anything.
- Try to take note when people do a good job and give recognition when it’s due at work.
- Reward effort, if someone does something nice for you, do something nice for them.
- Meditate with your gratitude list, giving thanks for all your good fortune.
- Live mindfully, not worrying about the past or future.
- Thank the people who serve you in the community — the shopkeeper, the bus drivers, etc.
- Say thank you for the little things your loved ones do for you, things you normally take for granted.
- Post quotes and images that remind you to be grateful around your house.
- Call into an elderly neighbor and say thank you for their presence in your life.
- Call your grandparents and tell them you love them.
- Embrace challenges and turn them into opportunities to grow.
- Send love to your enemies or people you dislike.
- Be thankful when you learn something new.
- See the growth opportunity in your mistakes.
- Help your friends see the positive side of life.
- When times are bad, focus on your friends who are at your side.
- When time is good, notice, and help others.
- Make a gratitude collage, cut out pictures of all the things that you are grateful for.
- Make gratitude a part of family life, share it with each other during mealtime.
- Practice gratitude at the same time every day to make it a habit.
- Focus on your strengths.
- Share the benefits of gratitude with family and friends.
- Share gratitude each day by posting a tweet, Facebook post, or Pinterest.
Be the change you want to see in the world by making gratitude a part of each day. If we all practice gratitude more regularly, the world will be a better place.
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