Increasing Gratitude

Increasing Gratitude

The happiest people are the ones who are the most grateful.  Gratitude increases your physical health, sleep quality, overall mood, self-esteem, mental strength, and ability to cope during difficult times.  Grateful people are more likely to have better relationships.  Anyone can become more grateful (and ultimately happier, which is what we strive for) by developing new habits.

I would like to take a moment to share the things I am most grateful for.  I’m grateful for a partner and family that love and support me unconditionally.  I’m grateful for my home, my financial independence, my enjoyable career, my travels, my education, and my privilege.  I’m grateful that I was able to start a blog this year, and I’m extremely grateful to YOU for reading.  Thank you!

Simple Habits to Increase Gratitude

Always say thank you, no matter how small something seems.  Acknowledge when other people are kind or generous, and be kind to everyone.  Thank them for their gifts of time, friendship, and support.  It seems so simple, but it is so often overlooked.  It will make other people feel appreciated.  (Huge bonus when their love language is words of affirmation.)

Check your complaints at the door.  Try going a day without a single complaint, and see what happens.  When you stop focusing on the negative, it’s much easier to feel grateful for the positive.  Any time I catch myself complaining, I stop immediately and remind myself of something to be grateful for.

Really be present in the moment.  It can be hard to balance everything going on, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in where we are going that we forget to stop and enjoy where we are.  Focus on what you are doing, and enjoy it.  This is especially true when you’re busy hosting in your home.

Say the things you are grateful for.  Whether it’s a conversation you have with yourself or with a friend, just hearing words of gratitude will increase feelings of gratitude.

Ask others what they are grateful for.  It boosts feelings of happiness (and even romance) in relationships.  Talking about what others are grateful for can help remind you of things in your life to be grateful for (especially the things that are often overlooked).

Point out things the other person did right.  Appreciate how they helped you, and focus on their good qualities.  It’s impossible to feel gratitude when you are too busy criticizing.  Don’t judge others, since you haven’t walked in their shoes.

Take a daily gratitude break.  Take a moment during your day to think of something you are grateful for.  You can set a simple daily reminder on your phone, and when it pops up, just list in your head a couple things you are grateful for in that moment.  It can make your day happier and more productive.

Keep a gratitude journal.  It can be daily or weekly.  My partner and I started one this year that we write in each night, and I’ve noticed that my own gratitude has increased over the last few months.  I promise there have been some days where I’ve felt like everything was going the wrong way, and on those days my partner reminds me of how important gratitude really is and how important it is to write something down.  Whether it’s as big as nailing the job interview or as presumed as clean water, there is always something to be grateful for.

Even with a hurricane coming our way, we were still able to find things to be grateful for.

Start a Gratitude Jar.  Put a vase or Mason jar somewhere in your home.  Cut up slips of paper.  Each day, write a couple things on slips of paper, fold them up, and tuck them into the jar.  Eventually your jar will be overflowing.

Write a letter to someone and say thanks.  Tell them why you are grateful for them, the things you’ve learned from them, and how they’ve made your life better.  Your personal gratitude will grow just by writing the letter.  You don’t have to share it with them, but don’t be afraid to share it if you want to. 

Parents: Teach your children to be grateful.  Talk to them, volunteer with them, and show them the reasons they are fortunate.  Your entire family will benefit, and they will grow up to be happier, healthier individuals.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

After all, the dictionary definition for Thanksgiving is “the expression of gratitude.”

4 Replies to “Increasing Gratitude”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! It really brightened my spirit. I love the idea of starting a gratitude journal and being present in the moment. I want to focus on enjoying life because tomorrow is not promised, especially in my profession. I’m grateful that I am alive and read this article.

    1. It helps that my partner and I are writing in it together each night. It keeps us accountable for doing it. There are definitely nights that I’m not feeling it!

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