Gratitude is vastly under-rated, but very important.
I consider myself a very grateful person. I am incredibly lucky to have my health, four beautiful children, a partner to help me through life’s ups and downs, and the ability to help heal other people, which has always been my dream. Still, with the daily rigamarole of life, I often find myself swept up in the hustle and bustle, and forget to find the time to be grateful.
Gratitude is a very important part of a happy and healthy life, because acknowledging the good things we have not only makes us appreciate them more, but makes it possible to spread that gratitude on to the people around us. In that way, we can do our own small part every day to make the world a better place.
Gratitude isn’t always easy though, so here are a few small ways to find the time to be grateful, every day.
Writing in a journal is a great way to remain mindful of the good things in your life. It is also great for your mental health because writing things down will help you sort through problems that can escape you when they remain in your head. Sometimes I catch myself just writing random quotes, or thoughts I have throughout the day, and I find that writing them down removes them from my head and creates a serenity I can’t get otherwise.
Discuss gratitude with your family. One of the best things you can do as a parent is teach your children to be grateful and humble when it comes to blessings. Talking with them every day about what they are thankful for (possibly around the breakfast or dinner table) is a good way to cultivate that, but be prepared to go first! We lead by example in this case.
Charity work is probably one of the best ways to experience and share gratitude. It doesn’t matter whether you convince your family to clean out their closets for donations, or volunteer your time at a homeless shelter, giving back is a surefire way to spread the love.
Agree not to complain. Complaining is one of the easiest traps to fall into, but it is basically an anathema to gratitude. Make a pact with your partner, a friend, or a co-worker to remind each other not to complain. Perhaps for every complaint you should discuss something you are thankful for.
Saying ‘thank you’ more often is probably the easiest way to practice and share gratitude. In everyday life we often forget to say thank you, but you will never know how those two small words can change somebody else’s day and pay it forward. Don’t overdo it obviously, but when you actually feel thankful for someone’s help, don’t be afraid to express that authentically.
At the end of the day, one small ounce of gratitude injected into your day can have a myriad of positive effects on your own life, and ripple outwards into the lives of the people around you.