“When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.” – Frederick Franck
Practicing gratitude has been identified as one way to decrease depression and sadness while increasing quality of life. But how do you do it? Here are 4 easy ways.
- Thank someone. Thanking someone is completely FREE and it feels amazing. Think about it: when was the last time that someone thanked you? How did you feel? You probably felt special, loved, appreciated… If you can’t remember the last time you’ve been thanked, even more reason to pay it forward and thank someone. That positive energy you’re putting out into the universe may come back to you in some way. Whether in person or by note, thanking someone will feel fulfilling for you, and awesome for them!
- Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down one thing you’re thankful for. Just to give you some ideas… you might be grateful for a quality you have (I’m grateful that I’m smart), a possession you own (I’m grateful for my comfortable mattress), a person (I’m grateful for my mom), something aesthetically pleasing (I’m grateful for trees), or an experience you’ve had (I’m grateful that I got to go on vacation to Colorado). See how many days you can write something in your gratitude journal without repeating.
- Think about those less fortunate. We often compare ourselves to people of a similar socioeconomic status. After all, those are the people we are most likely to come into contact with, or see on social media. The people who often are not represented, either on Facebook, in T.V. shows, etc., are people who are poor, homeless and disenfranchised. When we think about those less fortunate, we can suddenly think of so many things we have that we take for granted – like homes, food, family and friends, our ability to walk, talk, see, and hear. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who don’t have these things.
- Donate time or money to a cause. If simply thinking about those less fortunate feels unkind, giving back is a great way to expand your gratitude. Helping others will allow you to feel grateful for your own circumstances while doing something kind for others. Truly, a win-win.
How do you practice gratitude? Let me know in the comments.
Have a mindful Monday!