In the midst of the “have not’s” it can be easy to forget the “have’s.” Sometimes the easiest way out of sadness is the path traveled through gratitude.
Make gratitude a daily practice, you may be surprised how quickly this simple shift in focus can change your entire perspective–not to mention the amount of joy and peace you experience.
Daily Thoughts Of Gratitude – Dedicate a few quiet moments to reflect upon all of the things for which you are grateful. You can do this in the morning before you start your day, or at night before you drift off to sleep.
It helps to have a reminder in your immediate environment to keep you on focus on your blessings. This can be as simple as expressing your gratitude for something on a piece of paper and taping it to the inside of your medicine cabinet (my favorite), posting it in your closet or on your fridge, or anywhere else you are frequently.
Carry a Gratitude Stone – Keeping a small gratitude rock or stone in your pocket or purse is a simple yet powerful trigger that reminds you to focus on those things for which you are grateful and will help your practice gratitude very easily.
Give Daily Gifts – Give daily gifts to others. Your gift does not necessarily need to be a physical gift. You can give the gift of a sincere compliment, a silent prayer, an email, a card, or a phone call. As long as it is from the heart, it will carry the right energy.
Get Rid of Negative Media – The media can play an overbearing role in our lives if we allow it. There is so much sensationalized negativity, predictions of gloom and doom, and focus on the trials and tribulations around the world, that we can easily get caught up in all of it.
All of that negative energy is emotionally draining and does not serve us well. Reduce your exposure to this type of negative energy. Instead, focus on the positive and inspiring events and actions of others that are all around you, or read an uplifting and enriching book.
Express Gratitude To Others – Expressing your gratitude to others will make their day brighter, as well as improve your own. Always take the time to verbalize and express your thanks. As William Arthur Ward so eloquently put it, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
Write In A Gratitude Journal – Keeping a gratitude journal conditions you to focus and reflect on all of the things for which you are grateful.
You can write in your journal at the end of each day before you go to sleep or during the course of the day as things happen. As a guideline, ask yourself the following questions and then write down the answers:
– what made me happy today?
– what inspired me today?
– what gave me comfort or deep peace today?
When you’re done writing, take time to read all the things you have written. By doing so, you will notice the good things happening in your life and come to appreciate them more.
Create a Gratitude Shelf – Set aside a space in your immediate environment where you can display reminders of things for which you are thankful. These can be a memento from a co-worker, a picture of your loved ones, cards from friends, a special keepsake from a vacation, or anything else that will act as a reminder of the good things in your life and the love that surrounds you.
Go To Sleep Counting Your Blessings – The last thing on your mind when you go to sleep usually determines how well you sleep, no matter how tired you may be. Drift off to sleep counting your blessings instead of sheep.