Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of―and available to―opportunities to learn, grow, and extend ourselves with care and compassion towards others.
Positive psychology research shows gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness—helping us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. It’s difficult to maintain negativity when you’re focused on what you are thankful for.
Make a Bliss List – write down what you have received from others this month. Writing it down is important, but tacking it to your bulletin board or carrying it in your pocket as a reminder also provides benefits.
Count Blessings, Not Sheep – whether you incorporate gratitude into meditation, prayer, or just make a list before bed, research shows you will likely start to sleep better and longer.
Keep a Gratitude Journal – write for at least 5 minutes a day, consistently. After one month of writing, people in one study increased their reported happiness by 4%, and 10% after 6 months.
Remind Yourself – setting recurring notifications throughout your day can help bring you back to gratitude when you need it.
Make Your Meals Mindful – before you savor your first bite, stop to thank all who had a hand in creating your meal―from those who prepared the soil, harvested and packed the food, shipped it, stocked it, and packed it in your bags―to those who helped you prepare it and set the table.
Seek Secret Goodness – assume the innate goodness and best intentions of three people you see frequently and notice how this changes your interactions with them.
Give a Note of Thanks – writing and hand delivering a thank-you note to
someone may be one of the most impactful things you can do for both of you. Making a habit of this will not only improve your own mood and life but can improve the lives of others, making the world a better place for all of us.