Practicing Gratitude

Photo posted by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash.com

As many approach the Thanksgiving holiday, people are preparing for the moment at the dinner table when gratitude is voiced out loud. Expressing gratitude doesn’t only occur on Thanksgiving. There are so many ways that individuals can practice gratitude in their daily lives to help boost their mental health and improve relationships with others.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Journaling daily has been proven to be beneficial to an individual’s wellbeing both mentally and spiritually. Instead of simply writing about your day, you can focus on the parts of your day that you are especially thankful for by keeping a gratitude journal. When you record the little things that make you feel thankful each day, you will be inclined to experience gratitude more often. Finding gratefulness in the small things, like a beam of sunlight shining into your bedroom in the morning, will contribute to the overall experience of practicing gratitude. There are even journals specifically designed for practicing positivity and thankfulness, like this one on Amazon.

Think About the Thank You’s

It’s easy to absentmindedly say “thank you” and not think about what you are even expressing thankfulness for. If you take the time to focus on those moments when you say, “thank you,” you can pinpoint the moments in your day when you feel a sense of gratitude. This is also a moment of expressing gratitude to others, which has been proven to help build our relationships with those present in our lives, and in turn, improve our mental health.

Contrast the Present with the Past

There is no better way to focus on what you’re grateful for than to compare the current state of your life to a time when you were experiencing hardships or unhappiness. By separating these two points in your life, you can evaluate what you have now that you didn’t have then. There is so much to be thankful for, but it’s all about finding out what is most precious to you.

Focus on What You Feel

The five senses can tell one a lot about what they have to be grateful for. One can express gratitude for the refreshing feeling of wind on their skin, the satisfying smell of coffee in the early morning, the taste of a favorite sweet treat, the sight of a colorful sunset or the sound of a crackling fire. These seemingly small experiences can help one come to their senses (no pun intended) and focus on everything they have to be thankful for.

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