We aren’t hardwired to be grateful as humans, and this is understandable when we are constantly working hard and striving to be the best at everything. Yet the benefits of gratitude can be profound, even life changing, and can affect our overall happiness. Like any skill in life, gratitude requires practice. Gratitude can really put a situation into perspective, especially if we are having a bad day. We can sometimes focus all too much on what others have over us, but we must remember there is ALWAYS someone who is worse off. Learning to be grateful will help keep us grounded and will allow us to fully appreciative the people around us and the lives we lead. Here is a list of 5 things to add to your day to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude!
Keep a gratitude journal
This is so simple yet so effective. Jotting down a couple of things at the end of the day, which you are grateful for, will restore your sense of wellbeing and satisfaction. From being thankful about the woman who let you off the train first to a colleague making you a cup of tea – try to appreciate the goodness and kindness of these acts. Of course, it isn’t always easy to be grateful, – especially after a break up or an argument – but trying to see the good in even the smallest of acts can really help you to become a much happier person.
When you hear yourself complaining – STOP! – No one likes a negative Nelly. Try to become more mindful of what you are saying and how others are reacting to it – you may notice the conversation drops or people will become disengaged when you start to complain. Instead, think of something you can be grateful for, and this will immediately transform your negative mindset into a positive one! Like complaining breeds more complaining, the same goes for gratitude and positivity. The more you engage in those thoughts the happier you, as well as your friends, family and colleagues will be.
Switch negative opinions into positive ones
Negative thoughts can really drain you of energy and can lead to increased feelings of dissatisfaction and disappointment. Simply by changing the tone of your thoughts into more positive ones can bring about a healthy change…
…It is SO rainy today! Switch this too …at least I will be spending most of my day inside in the warmth!
Switching your thoughts into positive ones will create inner peace and you will radiate happiness. Try to see the good in circumstances; a stressful day at work doesn’t necessarily mean you need cheering up with chocolate. In fact, you should be proud of yourself for getting through the day and using your skills to solve the problems that arose. Think positive people!
Give someone a compliment everyday
Compliment people… magnify their strengths…not their weaknesses. How amazing does it feel to receive a compliment? It can really put a swing in your steps. Giving a compliment, on the other hand, will also benefit you too! Pointing out something good about a friend or a colleague will shift any negative thoughts and attention you might have about yourself, whilst at the same time enhancing that person’s day and making them feel grateful. A compliment can create positive energy and reinforce another person’s strengths and achievements. When we build up other people, we are actually building up ourselves at the same time. So, what have you got to lose?
Smile at others
If you only do one thing from this list… please make sure to smile! Smiling is contagious and transferred from person to person. There is actually a mind-body connection when you smile; this simple act sends a message to your brain that you are one happy bunny, and your body starts pumping out lots of feel good endorphins. So, smile because you can and smile because you are grateful to be alive!