With all that we have gone through these past nine months, it may be difficult to maintain positive thinking, even though we are aware of the emotional and physical benefits. But science is finding that having gratitude may have an equally powerful effect on our well- being. There are ways to increase how often and how deeply we feel grateful, which could greatly improve our health.
Some ideas for feeling and expressing gratitude:
- Meditate on Positivity: Close your eyes, calm your breathing and take five minutes to think about the people and things you are thankful for.
- Send a Thank You Note: Has somebody done something nice for you? Think about it and send them a quick thank-you note.
- Compliment a Loved One: Without being prompted, tell a spouse, parent, child or another loved one what it is about them that makes you grateful.
- Wake Up and Give Thanks: Before you get out of bed in the morning, stop for a moment and think about how great it is to be alive.
- Hug Your Pet: Sometimes we forget how much joy our animal friends bring into our lives. Let them know how good they make you feel.
- Reward Positivity: Buy a special treat for that one colleague who brightens your day. Leave it for them as a surprise.
- Slow Down Dinner: Take your time eating and make an effort to taste and enjoy every bite. Be thankful for the food you have.
- Make a Donation: Donate to a charity of your choice while reminding yourself how grateful you are to be in a position to give.
- Make it Public: Find a way to publicly praise a colleague for their contribution to the organization.
- Appreciate Difficulties: Having a bad day? Take a second to appreciate what you’re thankful for. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it can turn your day around.
- Listen to Music: Block out distractions, put your headphones on and listen to one song. Enjoy the melody and the beat and think about how lucky we are to have music in our lives.
- Get Outside: You don’t have to hike into the words to be grateful for nature. Stop and smell a flower, or take a moment to appreciate the beauty of trees. Feel a little sunshine on your face.
- Take on a Burden: At home, take on a partner’s chore or at work, take on a task your colleague dislikes. Show them how much you like having them around.
- Stuck, but Happy: Crawling in highway traffic or stuck in a long line for service? Take a second to appreciate being free to be alone with your thoughts.
- Hug Yourself: Sometimes we forget that our best companion is ourselves. Take a second to appreciate what a good person you are to be around.
- Move It: Sometimes we take for granted the simple joy of movement. Get up from your desk and stretch. Appreciate the sensation.
- Start a Journal: Good things don’t stick in our memory as easily as bad things. Start a journal so you can record all of the good things that happen to you.
- Take pictures: Photograph little things in your everyday life that make you smile.
- Say Thank You: No matter how small the gesture, express your gratitude for it.
- Tip Extra Well: One time a week, reward someone for their good service. It will make them happy and you appreciative of their hard work.
- Share a Talent: Can you fold origami figures? Can you sketch, or knit? Share your talents with others. They will be happy for the guidance and you can reinforce and appreciate your self-worth.
There are so many ways of expressing gratitude to those around us. The benefits are felt by the giver and the receiver so don’t hold back.