“I would argue that thanks is the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
“Enjoy the little things because maybe one day you’ll look back and realize it was the big things.”
“Get in the habit of being thankful for everything good that happens to you and giving thanks constantly. And because all things have contributed to your progress, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of my readers will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.
So I thought it would be a good time to share some of my favorite tips for making gratitude a daily part of life.
Because being thankful for what you have is one of the simplest and easiest ways to lift your spirits. To give your motivation a boost. And to live a happier life.
No matter who you are or where you live in the world.
1. Stop and look around.
A simple first step to being more grateful is to stop during the day and ask yourself these two questions:
What 3 things can I be thankful for in my life today? Which 3 people in my life can I be thankful for and why?
If you can’t think of 3 people and 3 things every day, that’s fine. A thing or person is also great.
But if you can, try not to repeat yourself too much.
Instead, think of more people and things to be grateful for to expand your grateful view of your world day by day.
2. Express your gratitude.
Don’t stop at finding people that you are thankful to have in your life.
Take a few seconds to tell them about it. This will make your life happier. And when their faces light up with a smile, you’ll feel happier too.
Well, this gratitude could be just a small sentence. But it can have a huge impact on someone’s day, week, or even life.
So be sure to make the small effort to spell it out.
3. Look at yourself too.
Not only things are important. Or other people.
You are important and valuable too.
So appreciate that.
What 3 things can I be grateful for in myself?
It could be that you were a good sister in a crisis last week. It could be that you are finally done with that boring or difficult task that you have been putting off.
Your self-gratitude doesn’t just have to be about accomplishments.
You can just be thankful for your good sense of humor. Or the help you give your friends and family by being a good listener from time to time.
And gratitude doesn’t have to be about big things, either. It could simply be because you floss for a few minutes in the morning.
4. Be thankful for the things you take for granted.
The things we have become very accustomed to can become things we take for granted. But they are not things that everyone in the world has access to.
Some of these things I like to think about and am very thankful for are:
A roof over your head and a warm home. Plenty of potable water. That I don’t have to starve. Being able to enjoy the small and free pleasures in life. Access to the internet so I can learn and connect with people.
I’ve found that being grateful for things like this is especially helpful to zoom out and put my situation in perspective when I’m going through a difficult time in life.
5. Start or end your day with gratitude.
To make gratitude a habit that sticks, find a regular time for it in your day.
For example, you can start your day well by finding 3 things to be thankful for in yourself at breakfast.
Or you can take a few minutes at night just before bed to write down 3 things you are grateful for about your day in a journal.
Try a small time commitment like one of these and see the impact it has on your life.