With Thanksgiving around the corner, let’s talk about gratitude. Gratitude means being thankful and ready to show appreciation. It’s about acknowledging the good and the gifts we have received in life. Being grateful means giving thought and expressing appreciation for specific items, circumstances, situations, relationships, and personal qualities/characteristics that you are happy to have in your life. Gratitude fosters positivity, and positivity improves happiness.
How Increasing Gratitude Improves Happiness
When you are in a more negative mindset, the focus is on the bad and what is going “wrong.” You lose sight of all the good and what is going well. Negativity can suck you in and make it hard to see any positives. The way to counter this is to be grateful. Being grateful shifts your mindset onto what is good, what you are appreciative for, and what you are happy to have in your life. This leads to more positivity. As it is often said, happiness is a state of mind. Getting into that state of mind is all about being more positive.
HOW TO BUILD GRATITUDE
- Create a gratitude list. Come up with at least 5 things that you are appreciative and thankful for and write it down. It can be something you have experienced, something you currently have, or something you are looking forward to. It’s important to take the time and consciously think about what you are grateful for. Writing it down helps put more focus on these things and is good to have to refer to in times when you are losing sight of the positive.
- Review your list daily. This puts gratitude into your routine. It is important not to mindlessly read through your list. For each thing, take a minute to really think about why you are thankful for that particular thing and how it has enhanced your life. Reading your list first thing in the morning can set a more positive tone for the rest of the day. It is also helpful to read your list before going to bed as a way to enter sleep in a more positive mood. There is no limit on how often to practice gratitude, but the idea here is to do so at least once a day.
- Read your list when you are feeling down. By doing so, you help maintain positivity even when things are hard and not working out. It ensures that you don’t forget all the good in your life just because somethings are not how you want them to be.
- Be grateful in the moment that positive things occur. Don’t’ be limited by your gratitude list. Take time to enjoy and savor the pleasures and thrills as they come. Take a minute to think about your appreciation and how lucky you are to be able to experience and have what has just come your way.
- Find a new thing each day. At the end of every day, think about one thing that you are grateful for specific to that day. Also, think about what you are looking forward to for the next day. As mentioned above, you don’t want to be limited to what is already on your list. It is also helpful to see that each day always has something good as a way to build overall positivity. You want to remember that you can always find some good in everything.
- Express gratitude to others. Let other people know that you appreciate them. Bringing gratitude outside of yourself helps solidify the overall mindset. It keeps the idea of gratitude on your mind and provides many opportunities to practice.
- Find a positive in the negative. No matter what the situation is, take time to think about the good. Find a lesson and the meaning behind painful situations. Focus on what the suffering has taught you and how it has given you more strength. Appreciate that you were able to survive the hardship and move forward.
Start bringing gratitude in your life now! Take an active role in increasing happiness. Write your gratitude list, come up with at least 5 things you are grateful for. Read through your list daily and add to it as things evolve. Also, write a list of all the people that you are grateful for in your life. Each day, take time to express appreciation and gratitude to one person from your list. Make gratitude part of your daily routine and see the amazing impact it can have!
Click here to download your gratitude workbook to help make gratitude a priority!