Living this life is the most beautiful journey we will ever get to go on. If we pause for a moment and look around us to really take in the beauty of this world, we will always find something to be grateful for.
Living in a state of gratitude is one of the best ways to experience a spectacularly full life. Gratitude helps us participate and be more present in each moment, and when we don’t stop to appreciate those little pockets of happiness, then life tends to rush past us.
The simple act of gratitude has an immense pull on us too. It boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure, decreases depression, helps you cope with unexpected pitfalls in your daily life, and helps you see the joy in your days, which in turn creates happier experiences and moments that you’ll never want to forget.
Gratitude is incredible for your wellbeing, and certain people are born a little more hardwired for appreciation, and the practice comes naturally to them.
However, it takes a little more time to see the good in life for other people and really appreciate everything around them. For those people and everyone in between, you can do so many things to find joy in your everyday life, and it starts with you recalling the things that make you’re the happiest.
How you can help yourself to be grateful
1. Create A Gratitude Journal
One of the most notable practices you can do is create a gratitude journal where you write down the things you’re grateful for, perhaps the people who make you the happiest of experiences you’ve gotten to relish in.
Sometimes this comes naturally to people, and sometimes it’s easy to get stuck on what to write about. If at this moment, you are having a hard time writing down things you’re grateful for, the best thing you can do is sit down and recall the moments that made you the happiest.
Write down the moments that made your stomach hurt from laughing, or write about the moment you got a beautiful compliment from your friend or a stranger.
Recall moments where you felt really good or ones that surprised you and brought a smile to your face. Whether big or small, once you’ve made a list of the moments that made you feel bliss, you can’t help but take a look at them and feel gratitude for those things in your life.
The simple act of remembering joyous moments and writing them down helps transform the frustrating or stale feeling you have into one that makes you feel gratitude for the experiences you’ve been given.
If you don’t have paper or a pen, sometimes just focusing on your thoughts and reprogramming them to choose positivity can instantly change your mood.
Have a moment to yourself in the day. Talk about these things out loud. Putting those words out into the world creates such radiant energy around you that others can feel as well.
2. Compliment someone else
“A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.”
– Victor Hugo
Another great way to feel the warmth of gratitude is to simply compliment someone else or reach out to a loved one and tell them how much you appreciate them.
Trust me, as this is one of the best ways to create good feelings for both you and the other person receiving that gift because you never know if a simple act like that changed their day around for the better. You can’t help but feel giddy, knowing you created happiness for the other person as well as yourself.
It’s always a good idea to understand your thought patterns and see if there’s a way for you to slow down and breathe, and just for a few moments, think of the good things happening around you. This is where meditation comes in, and sitting in quiet solitude for just a few minutes each day can help you feel more at ease and a little lighter.
3. Get some Meditation
While some meditation has you clearing your mind, try sitting there with no distractions, closing your eyes, and thinking about those experiences and people you are grateful for.
Sit with the feeling that comes from focusing your attention on the positive in your life, and you’ll usually feel a shift in good energy around you.
Scientists have even said that a repetitive gratitude practice where you rewire your brain to focus on gratitude has a dramatic effect on your perception of life and mood throughout your day.
4. Relieving Human Suffering
One of my all-time favorite ways to get out of my head and into the world is to learn how other people live and go about their lives. The best way to do this is to volunteer.
Nothing really shows you how lucky you are other than seeing how other people are dealing with unfortunate situations like homelessness, hunger, and poverty. A great volunteer program that allows you to firsthand experience families who don’t have homes is Habitat for Humanity.
Another program that keeps it simple but still has a big impact on others is Meals on Wheels, where you deliver food to people who cannot afford it or who don’t have the means of bringing any home.
There are people wishing they have what you have, and putting yourself in other people’s shoes sometimes and imagine what it’s like to want something as basic as a home and food, can really put into perspective how lucky you are to have the things that you do.
At the same time, it allows you to meet someone new and get to know how they find joy in the little things they have. The delight you take home knowing you brought happiness to someone in need tends to stay with you, and you get to practice gratitude all in one day.
Diving deep into your heart and focusing on your thoughts, putting the paper to pen, and even taking yourself out of your comfort zone and into someone else’s life, can really make a difference in how you look at your own life.
When you start to open your eyes to the many incredible things happening around you, you start to enjoy life from a sweeter vantage point.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
– Winston Churchill
Practicing gratitude every morning can create a massive perspective change and can lighten any dark mood you get into throughout your day.
Not only are you happier, but the people around you feel your energy, and before you know it, people start to come to you because you remind them of how sweet life can get. That kind of happiness radiates, and people are drawn to that feeling.
Last but not least, appreciate it all, not just the big moments but the sweet and tender moments we often forget to include on our lists. Moments of sitting in the sun and feeling the warmth on your skin, cuddling with your favorite pet, or enjoying that favorite movie you love for the 15th time.
Those subtle memories are just as important as the larger ones. There is so much joy around you. Write it down, speak it out, share it with a friend, and remember that life is as sweet as you make it.