If you want to experience more positive emotions, become more grateful, feel more alive, reduce stress, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have a stronger immune system all you need to do is say two little words:
The benefits of practicing gratitude are practically endless, but it doesn’t need to be reserved for momentous occasions. In fact, research done by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons shows that keeping a daily gratitude journal is a simple yet powerful way to significantly increase wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Perhaps you’ve tried writing in a gratitude journal only to drop off the first week into the exercise. You may have even found it beneficial and really wish you could stick with it. (Check out these tips for starting a gratitude journal.)
Many of us simply do not realize how good we have it. We become accustomed to our lives and without even knowing it neglect to be grateful and fall into a sense of entitlement, taking all we have – big and small things – for granted.
Here are 4 simple strategies to freshen up your Thanks:
- Renew Your Vision – It sounds terrible but being grateful for your family and friends can get old, especially if that’s the exact thing you write every day! Keep yourself motivated and engaged in gratitude by actively seeking specific ways in which you are thankful for them each day or during each encounter. Example: “I am so thankful for the loving text my husband sent to me this morning. It brightened my day and deepened my sense of connection with him.”
- Work With Yourself – Not against Yourself – Assess when you have the energy for this type of reflection. If you’ve been forcing yourself to write at a certain time of day perhaps shifting the exercise to a time when you’re more focused and centered will help you create consistency. Once gratitude becomes a normal part of your day you will find it effortless to weave in no matter what’s going on.
- Make it Fun – Journaling isn’t for everyone. If you’re crafty, creative or find inspiration in ways other than writing in a little notebook then you will love the Gratitude Calendar above. It maps out new, creative ways to find gratitude every day of the week giving you the opportunity to deepen your awareness, stay connected to the present moment, and become more observant in your daily life.
- Share It – Social support is among the strongest factors for adhering to new goals and behavior change. Share your gratitude goals with your family, your friends or even on social media. Who knows, they may even send their appreciation for your inspiration! Feel free to share it with me on my Facebook page as well.
In Love & Gratitude,