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Gratitude is an emotion that has the potential to change our lives for the better and can lead to positive changes in our behavior and outlook.
How to Practice Gratitude Every Day
The first step to practice gratitude every day is to realize the things in your life that you’re thankful for. This could be anything from the big (a loving family, a safe home, good health) to the small (a delicious meal, a sunny day, a positive interaction with a stranger).
Write these things down in your gratitude journal (more on this in a minute) or say them out loud each day. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you take the time to reflect on the things that make you happy.
Increase your feeling of thankfulness
Besides practicing general gratitude, you can also use specific techniques to increase your feeling of thankfulness.
For example, challenge yourself to find something to appreciate in every situation, no matter how difficult it may be. If you’re stuck in traffic, be thankful for the opportunity to take a break and listen to your favorite podcast.
If you’re dealing with a hard person at work, be grateful for the opportunity to practice patience and compassion.
By looking for the silver lining in every situation, you’ll train your brain to default to a state of gratitude, which will make it easier to feel thankful even when things are tough.
Don’t forget about the people in your life who make it all worthwhile!
Take some time each day to reach out to friends and family members just to let them know how much they mean to you.
Send a text message telling your partner what you love about them or write an email expressing your appreciation for your coworker’s help on that extensive project.
These simple gestures go a long way in making other people feel loved and appreciated—and they’ll probably make you feel pretty good, too!
Keep a gratitude journal
Every day, take some time to write as many things you can think of you’re grateful for. Many people keep their gratitude journal next to their bed, and write in it before going to sleep each night, but do whatever works for you.
What you write in your journal can be big or small, anything from having a loving family, a delicious meal, receiving a compliment from a friend, your morning cup of coffee.
Reflecting on the things you’re thankful for helps shift your focus from what’s lacking in your life to all the good that already exists.
Over time, this will help retrain your brain to look for the positive in any situation.
Pay it forward
When you’re feeling extra grateful, pay the goodwill forward by doing something nice for someone else. This could be anything from cooking dinner for a friend or volunteering at a local nonprofit.
Not only will you make someone’s day, you’ll also get the bonus of improving your own mood and outlook on life.
Send thank-you notes
Because of this digital age, receiving a handwritten note has become a rarity, which makes it extra special, and another great way to practice gratitude.
So when someone does something nice for you or helps, take a few minutes out of your day to let them know how much you appreciate it by writing them a little thank-you note. You may be surprised by how good it feels, not just for them but for you, too!
Verbally express your appreciation
Showing gratitude doesn’t always have to be about written words, spoken words can be just as powerful.
Next time someone does something nice for you, don’t just say “thank you” but really mean it! Let them know specifically why their gesture meant so much to you and how they made your day, week, month, year, or indeed life better.
The more heartfelt and specific your appreciation is, the better!
Incorporate acts of kindness into your daily routine
Another great way to make gratitude a part of your life is by performing random acts of kindness regularly.
Think about holding the door open for someone, letting someone ahead of you in line, or leaving a sweet note for a loved one.
Don’t forget about yourself
Finally, don’t forget that YOU deserve appreciation and gratitude, too!
At the end of each day, reflect on something you did that made you proud or brought you joy, no matter how big or small.
Creating this mindful habit will help train your brain to seek positive experiences instead of dwelling on negative ones.
Key Takeaways: How to Practice Gratitude Every Day
Gratitude is an incredible emotion that can totally transform your life, but only if you practice it regularly!
Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to do so. Just become more aware of the good things in your life, look for the silver lining in every situation, and express your appreciation for the people who matter most to you.
Do this every day, and pretty soon you’ll start noticing some amazing changes in yourself and your life!