It can be easy to get weighed down with stress and worry. Before you know it, your life can seem a bit…gray. Chance are good, though, that your life might not quite be as horrible as it feels sometimes. It’s a matter of getting a bit of perspective. Gratitude can help you do that. Keep reading to learn easy tips on how to be grateful a little more often and how it can change your worldview.
What Does It Mean to Be Grateful?
We often associate gratefulness with a certain upcoming turkey-based holiday, which is fine. Once a year is (mostly) better than nothing, right? But just like exercise, gratitude works better when you use it more often. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to change your entire life to add a new routine (unless you want to). We’re going to give you a few simple things you can do that can help add a little color back into your life. These aren’t all gratitude-specific, but some are ways to add a bit of positivity, too. Try to find two or three things that feel good for you and add them to your weekly routine.
Keep It in Sight
Journaling. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but writing down a few words each day can be helpful. Not only does the act of writing help, but re-reading what you’ve written when you’re not exactly feeling grateful can be a quick reminder. Things aren’t quite as bad as you’re tempted to think. Think of answering the question, ‘What went well today’.
Love notes…to yourself. They aren’t just something you get from someone else! Leave small reminders where you’ll see them every day. You can even try putting them on the things you reach for when you’re down. If wine is your go-to pick-me-up, try adding a note on your glass. But don’t be negative, that will just make things worse. Try something like, “Take ten deep breaths”. You may decide you don’t “need” the wine after all.
Positivity is key. Try switching up your vocabulary a bit. Add words like “fortunate” or “blessed”. Changing around your perspective can help, too. Instead of saying, “I have to do this big project” try, “I get the opportunity to learn something new as part of this project” or “I choose to do this today”.
Use questions. Asking yourself simple things like, “What have I given back today?” or “What have I gotten today?” hits the pause button on your brain. As you answer those questions, you’re reminded of the good in your life. We often get caught up in trying to keep up with that one particularly successful friend or family member. While you think your life could be “better”, taking a moment to reflect on the things you do have can help you see things in a more positive way.
Promise yourself. Set a goal of practicing gratitude even just once a week. Don’t set an unrealistic goal, though, that defeats the purpose. Adding even a little gratitude into your thoughts and actions each week can have a big impact on how you see yourself and the world around you.
Use all your senses
Feel the breeze. The cliche, “stop and smell the roses” can get a little overused, but the intent is good. Is the sun shining? Is there a breeze that feels good on your face? Simply taking thirty seconds to be grateful and appreciate those small things – along with the life that allows you to experience them – is a quick way to boost your mood and your appreciation of your life.
Motions make a difference. If you find yourself crossing your arms over your chest, or turning away from someone who’s speaking to you, your body language is communicating for you. It’s also reinforcing negative patterns. When you notice those things happening, take a moment to consciously uncross your arms, or face the person speaking. Your physical actions send signals to your brain: make sure they’re good ones!
Final Thoughts on Gratitude
Being grateful isn’t always easy, we understand that. We all have bad days but after too many in a row, it can be tough to turn things around. Adding even one of these tips to your routine can start to lessen those bad days. If you’re finding you need a little extra help, we’re always here. Scheduling a free consultation can be the first step toward a more positive outlook and happier life.