Actively practicing gratitude has incredible benefits and far-reaching effects. In short, it’s a real game changer. Did you know that showing your appreciation can improve not just your mood, but your mental health? It improves interpersonal relationships, improves health, our optimism skyrockets, and it helps us to feel more positive emotions on a day-to-day basis.
Living life with gratitude in your heart helps you to pick up on the small wins — the little things like a compliment from a stranger, your favorite song coming on shuffle, or the sunshine on a summer afternoon. Life is mostly made up of these small, little moments, so why not increase your capacity to notice the good things? Let’s explore gratitude tips! Here are four ways to practice gratitude for a more mindful and happier life.
Pay Attention to Your Senses
The human body and our ability to see, taste, touch, hear, and smell is nothing short of miraculous. Take the time to appreciate it! Our senses are what give meaning to our lives and connect us to one another through shared experiences. When you view your senses through a thankful lens, you’ll come to appreciate them for the gifts they are.
Take a Pause Before You Say Thank You
Thanks is often an automatic response, but at that moment what are we actually thankful for? Take a pause, be present at the moment, and ask yourself, “What are you grateful for?” Ownership and acknowledgment of our feelings is a great way to practice gratitude for our emotions and how we express them to others.
The biggest hurdle in practicing gratitude is being mindful enough to actually do it. A visual cue can be anything that serves as a reminder to be thankful. Something you can carry with you like a charm, or wear on a daily basis like a piece of jewelry, is the perfect visual reminder.
In order to be appreciative of where you are, it’s important to remember the struggles you’ve experienced to get here. We can’t appreciate the sun without a little rain. On the surface, it may seem like a counterintuitive way to practice gratitude, but thinking of the obstacles you’ve overcome helps you to visualize how far you’ve come. Seeing all the good things the present moment has to offer makes it easy to see why life is worth living.
It isn’t hard to practice gratitude; it just takes intention and practice. The more you focus your attention on the things that make you feel grateful, you’ll begin to notice you feel grateful much more often and for many more things!