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I decided to write this post on 14 ways to practice gratitude every day because we are nearing Thanksgiving day, which is of course a day focused on gratitude. It’s got me thinking how it’s easy to talk about and think about gratitude and focus on feeling thankful for everything for one day. Yet, as the stress of the holiday season comes on, or as we get carried away in the ho-hum of the everyday, it’s easy to lose sight of those feelings of gratitude and appreciation.
I personally have a tendency to be a bit of a Negative Nancy sometimes, I have had to battle a lot of pessimism and depression in the last few years as I have faced some situations that have challenged me in ways I never believed possible.
However, I am still here, and I am working to overcome the struggles. I really do have a lot to be grateful for. I am learning that sometimes we have to actively make an effort to change our attitude and outlook on life in order to affect positive changes in our lives.
So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving month, I am trying to focus more on gratitude and learning to stop and really appreciate the everyday things.
There are so many benefits to practicing gratitude in our daily lives. Regularly practicing gratitude has been shown to increase overall positivity and happiness.
Studies have shown many other benefits as well, ranging from emotional, socialogical, psychological and physical benefits. This is a great article from Positive Psychology which talks about all the various benefits of practicing gratitude and the science behind it – 28 Benefits of Gratitude & Most Significant Research Findings.
According to this article: The Science of Gratitude – How it Changes People, Relationships (and Brains!) and How to Make it Work For You – Consistency is key. “We know the brain changes with experience, so the more that gratitude is practised, the more the brain learns to tune in to the positive things in the world.” This makes a lot of sense.
This year I have been trying to focus more on positivity in my life and working on myself in order to turn my life and situation around.
As part of my journey into positivity and happiness, I have chosen this month to focus on gratitude. So if you would like too join me on my journey, please read on for 14 ways to practice gratitude every day.
1. Start a gratitude journal
I recently started a gratitude journal and I find it really helps me start the day off more positive. I have made it a part of my daily routine.
In the morning when I sit down to have my coffee I take a moment to write down the things I am thankful for so far. Then any time during the day, or at the end of the day, I will sit down and write down a few more things that I am grateful for that have happened throughout the day.
2. Reciprocate kindness
This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the little kind things someone might do for you. So the next time someone does something kind, try to reciprocate with a kind act yourself to show them your appreciation.
3. Praise someone for doing something well
Sometimes in our everyday lives we can become accustomed to the people around us doing certain things, whether it be our Co-workers, significant other, family members or our children, that it becomes easy to forget to acknowledge when they do something well.
So take a moment and praise someone, this will help you feel a greater sense of gratitude towards that person and whatever it is that may have done well.
4. Compliment friends and family
Who doesn’t appreciate a compliment every now and then?
5. Spend quality time with your family
As busy moms, there is no better way to show your family your appreciation for them then by spending quality time together.
6. Remember to tell your loved ones that you love and appreciate them everyday
Making a point to acknowledge your love and appreciation to your loved ones will help you to stop and think about how truly grateful you are too have them in your life.
Volunteering for an organization that helps others is a great way to practice gratitude as it is bound to make you appreciate more what you have.
8. Thank people who serve you
Try to always say thank to anyone who serves you, such as cashiers, bus drivers, wait staff, grocery store baggers, anyone, make sure to show your appreciation.
9. Nurture your friendships
I know that being a busy mom can make it difficult to maintain friendships at times, but taking the time to nurture our friendships is a great way to practice gratitude. Make sure your friends know that are appreciated.
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” —Charles Schwab
10. Take a moment to appreciate nature
Step outside, take a walk or just take a moment to really appreciate the beauty in nature. Breathe deeply, look at the sky, trees, plants, whatever you may have around you. We live in an amazing world.
11. Help a stranger
I can’t count the times that I have been helped by strangers. From little things like someone picking up something I dropped for me, or giving me their seat on the bus to big things like when I was in the hospital after my last son’s birth and I was helped out in so many amazing ways that I will actually dedicate a whole post to that story.
The point is, I have had some truly amazing experiences of being helped out by strangers that have restored my faith in humanity, so to truly practice gratitude I like to take the opportunity to help others out as well whenever I can. It reminds me of all those who have helped me out along the way and reminds me of all I have to truly be grateful for.
12. Try to do a random act of kindness
It’s always a great feeling when out of the blue someone does some random nice thing for you, right? So in appreciation of all those little moments, why not pay it forward with some random act of kindness yourself?
I know not all of us have a lot of money to spare, some of us live week to week as it is. However, there are things other than money that you can donate to charities, organisations or even people you may know who have need for something that perhaps you don’t use anymore. It can be clothes, toys, household items you don’t use anymore.
14. Appreciate the little things
Sometimes the little things are everything. There are so many little things that we tend to take for granted everyday.
I hope these 14 ways to practice gratitude every day have been helpful. I know for my part I have been feeling a lot more positive and happy since trying to be more appreciative and aware of all of the things I have to be grateful for in my life.
So, I hope this holiday season that, instead of focusing on the stress that the holidays can inevitably bring for all us busy mamas, by implementing a daily gratitude practice we can focus more on all the positives and and simple joy with our loved ones and appreciate the moments we have together to make lasting memories.
Please comment below if you have any special ways that you practice gratitude or how practicing more gratitude in your life has affected you. I would love to hear from you!