Gratitude Is a Gift
We all know life isn’t always perfect. It ebbs and flows. It can get heavy at times. And even the most positive people can be thrown for a loop.
Unexpected challenges—big and small—arise that can make us upset and make it hard to see the good in life. You might have to dig deep, but there is always something for which to be grateful. There is always good in life.
1. Take a moment to be grateful every day. Make an effort to recognize and be grateful for the good things in your life (small things, big things). As your starting point, think about everything you take for granted on a daily basis—shelter, food, family, health.
It’s easy to only think about what you don’t have or what’s going wrong. If you take the time to put things in perspective, you’d be surprised at all the basic goodness you will find.
2. Start a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal can improve your sense of well-being, make you more resilient, and even give your immune system a boost!
Each day write down at least one thing you are grateful for. Use one or more of these prompts:
What brings you joy?
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What small things do you appreciate?
What do you appreciate about the friends/family in your life?
Journaling helps you focus on the positive and make reflection on gratitude a habit. That can lift your mood and turn a negative attitude toward the positive.
3. Focus on what is strong, not what is wrong. When we look at ourselves through our weaknesses, we tend to view ourselves as broken and focus on what we need to “fix.” When you look at your life through the lens of your strengths, you will see you are whole, capable human. Think about things that you do well; parts of your life that work.
When do you feel like you are in a state of flow and lost in the moment? These are your strong moments. Bringing more of the elements into your life will boost resilience and happiness, resulting in a healthier, more productive you!
4. Pay it forward. Donate your time, energy, or even money to help others. If you’re lucky enough to be in a position where you can give back to others, DO IT. Bring good into the world by doing something for someone else. Donate to a food bank, volunteer at the community garden, or offer to help a friend in need. There is nothing better than the feeling of helping someone else—and it helps remind you of the good in your life.
5. Show your appreciation. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. Tell your friends and family how much you love them. Say “thank you” often. Go that extra mile to show people that you are grateful to have them in your world!