If there is one thing I am bad at, it is gratitude.
I never remember to think about what I am thankful for, and yet gratitude is a proven antidote for all kinds of issues–besides being just a good thing in itself.
So I’ve come up with several ways to incorporate gratitude into my day. I find that when I do these, my anxiety is better, my depression is better, and I am just overall happier.
It’s only a little bit of effort for a big return.
1. Set an alarm. Or two. Or three.
This is my favorite because it is so easy and yet so helpful.
We all have cell phones. Why not take advantage of the fact and use them to assist our personal development and mental health?
Set some alarms throughout the day to remind yourself to pause and think of a few things you are grateful for.
This practice will make a difference in a couple of extra ways, too: it will allow you to catch your breath during the day and be more mindful, and it will force you to think positively.
2. At the beginning of the day, think of three things you are grateful for.
Look at your entire life. What about it is good? Or what is more difficult to determine but perhaps more rewarding, what good can you find in the bad things that are part of your life?
Start a gratitude journal and write these things down. This will help them to stay in your mind better, and when you are feeling down or negative, you can read through your journal to help turn that mood around.
3. At the end of the day, think of three things you are grateful for about the day itself.
With the morning practice, we look at our entire lives. In the evening, however, we look just at our day.
This will end each day on a positive note, will help you to be reflective, and will slow down your life just a little bit–all three good things.
4. Make a practice of glancing through your gratitude journal at least once a week.
You can incorporate this into your Sunday routine, for example.
Or maybe you can do it in the middle of the week on Wednesday night.
Whenever you choose to do it, though, reading some of your gratitude journal will help you to see the big picture of your life and will help you to appreciate your blessings more completely.
More than that, seeing anything in a lump is especially effective and powerful if you are trying to make an impression on your mind and heart.
If you too struggle with gratitude and positivity, try incorporating one, two, or even all of these practices into your life. Once you establish the habit, you will not want to change. I guarantee your life will be better for the effort–happier, more positive, and fuller.
Now it’s your turn. What do you do to practice gratitude? Do you have techniques that work for you? Share your own tips in the comments below!