For the most part, life isn’t always a box of chocolates. Throughout our time on this Earth, we all go through trials and tribulations that look to erupt our inner happiness. These times make us feel as though nothing is going right, but it is in these trying moments that we must remember to look around and notice all the beautiful things that truly make us blessed. Living each day with the desire of finding gratitude in life’s simple creations will give birth to a more vivid and colorful world. By taking a few simple steps in our daily activities, we will not only begin to see improvements in our health, but also our moods will be at an all-time high and our relationships will greatly flourish.
With any task you must learn, habit is key. By creating a routine, you can begin to set goals that will give you the ability to appreciate constant gratitude every day. Start with setting a timeline and work toward consistently following these rules.
Keep a notebook by your nightstand.
Write down at least two things you’re thankful for. These things can be as small as the sun peaking through your window or the smell of your favorite coffee roasting in the kitchen.
Make gratitude your mantra.
Practice it by smiling at a stranger, writing someone a thank-you card or just recognizing the little things, such as the sound of the birds outside your office window
Learn to contrast the bad with the good.
Learn to accept every situation as it comes. Raining on your day off? Catch up on a good book. Miss the bus? Take a sick day. Forget the main ingredient for your recipe? Order takeout. Every downside has an up.
Fake it till you make it.
We’ve all had those days that just don’t seem to get any better. It’s a snowball effect of letdowns; one thing happens and everything that follows doesn’t get much better. These are days that will test us, and they are crucial because in order to cultivate a strong attitude of gratitude, we must maintain the same habits even on the most horrible days.
According to a study conducted by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, counting your blessings and keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep, reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of wellbeing and a better ability to handle change. Other research shows that being more grateful can reduce feelings of envy, strengthen our relationships and improve our careers.
Did you know that writing just five minutes a day in a gratitude journal could increase your long-term wellbeing by more than 10 percent? Here are some journals that can help you on your journey toward living a more gracious life.
“365 Days of Gratitude: Gratitude Journal for Kids” from Mirabell Publishing
“Quieting Your Heart: Gratitude Journal” by Darlene and Madison Schacht
- “Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration” by Meera Lee Patel