“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller
Life seems to go really fast these days. So fast that one might be pushed to forget to take a break to appreciate life and be thankful for the things they have. However, the benefits of practicing gratitude and sharing your experience are worth taking that break. In fact; this habit is key to living a fulfilled life because people who practice thankfulness feel better about their lives, experience more positive emotions, and forge long-lasting relationships with other people.
Why Practice Gratitude
- It fosters optimism
It is often difficult to spot the silver lining when going through challenging times. However, making it a habit to acknowledge and be grateful for the good things in your life will help boost your optimism. Optimism helps you to appreciate the good in every situation, and it becomes really necessary when you feel like you have hit rock bottom.
- It keeps you grounded in the present
Making it a practice to be thankful for the good things you already have going in your life right now; and sharing your experience with others, ultimately keeps you grounded in the here and now. Focusing on the things you already have now, gives you less time to worry about what you never had in the past, and be anxious about what you may or may not have in the future.
- It boosts your mental well-being
While it might be difficult or even impossible to entirely remove negative thoughts from our minds, it is more practical to balance them out with positive thoughts. One of the best ways to achieve this is by practicing thankfulness because it helps you to focus more on the things that make you a fortunate person. The result is a boost in your mental well-being and a happier life.
- It helps you to accept change
“Change is a constant.” You have probably heard this saying more than a billion times, but it is still worth mentioning especially due to its relevance to the subject matter at hand. When we are enjoying our comfort zones, it is difficult to accept when things change. And it is even more difficult to be thankful for the change. However, when we make it the norm to practice gratitude, it becomes much easier to acknowledge and be grateful for the good change brings into our lives.
How to Practice Gratitude
- Practice mindfulness
Make it a daily custom to think about five to ten things you are grateful for. If you plan to do this in the morning, then you can think about the things you are grateful for that happened the previous day. Alternatively, if you wish to practice this exercise every night, then you can focus on the things that happened earlier that day. Don’t just think about it though, picture it in your mind while remembering how you felt.
- Appreciate the little things as well
When embarking on the gratitude journey; it is common for people to focus mostly on the big things that happened to them, such as getting a promotion at work. However, gratitude should not be saved only for the big things in life, in fact, it starts with the realization that nothing is too small to be grateful for.
- Get a gratitude journal
After your mindfulness exercise and having realized the need to be thankful for everything in your life (big or small), it might be helpful for you to get a gratitude journal. Sharing your experience about the things you are thankful for becomes much easier with a journal. Writing them down every day will help you keep track and remind you how fortunate you are when things get tough.
There really is no better time to start incorporating this practice than this present moment. Make it a habit to begin your day with, “I am grateful for…”