10 Ways to Practise Gratitude & the Many Benefits
With all the stress and worry going on in the world at the moment, it can be difficult to practise gratitude on a daily basis – or even ever!
However, it is important to stay grounded no matter if we find ourselves in whirlwinds of good or bad. Staying grounded is what keeps us connected to each other and the world around us. Showing gratitude for the good and bad in our lives is a great way to appreciate the lives we have on this wondrous planet which provides us with all that we could ever need and want.
Whenever you feel stressed, sad, low, or anxious – or even just happy or joyful, take a moment to spread thanks out into the universe and appreciate your life for what it is: perfectly imperfect.
1. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
First on our list to help practise gratitude on a daily basis is to perform acts of kindness to others. These could be strangers, family members, friends, or even people you might not be too fond of.
Acts like letting people out in front of you during traffic, or leaving someone the last slice of cake, in addition to benefitting the receiver, can also improve your mental wellbeing and happiness over time. Performing an act of kindness increases a person’s sense of gratitude through the act of doing something generous for another person.
2. Share Gratitude with Others
You know how yawning is contagious? Gratitude can be too!
Sometimes using gratitude as more of a focal point during the day and expressing it out loud can help others around you feel the same. Why not express gratitude before a big meal? Or when out for a walk? Or when seeing family?
People pick up on emotions, so when you express gratitude for the things you are thankful for, it will be even more beneficial to those who perhaps have been more adverse to outwardly expressing happiness. When you help others you in turn help yourself.
3. Create Connections
Something that improves when you practise gratitude, is your connections with other people. If you are spreading kindness and appreciating others, your relationships with your family and friends and connections with strangers will grow.
Everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated, and when this comes from complete strangers is adds something a bit more special. Someone could be having the worst day imaginable, but making a new connection with someone who went out of their way to show kindness can help them in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
4. Share Material Possessions
Sharing your possessions with those in need is a great way to practise gratitude for the material things you own, as well as performing an act of kindness for someone else.
Offer your tools to help a neighbour to carry out their household DIY tasks. Bake some delicious biscuits as a no-strings-attached gift that you thought that they might like. Or why not give your unwanted clothes away, either to friends looking for a new outfit or to the local charity shop. It’s a great way to both practise gratitude and to help someone out!
5. Offer Your Time
We all know how it feels when someone gives up their time to help you with something. You feel valued, appreciated, and worthy of their time. It is the same the other way round.
It goes without saying, that giving up too much of your time, all the time can have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing and ability to get things one for yourself. However, once in a while, it is nice to offer your time and patience to others to help them in their time of need, without being taken for granted. It is a great way to practise gratitude in helping someone else and also for the other person to be grateful for your help in the first place.
6. Celebrate Others' Achievements
Repeat after me: ‘your achievements are not diminished by celebrating the successes of others.’ And again.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming if everyone seems to be achieving great things in their lives at a time that is particularly difficult for you. But your successes aren’t reduced as a result of the successes of others, and neither are your failures.
We can be grateful that others achieve their successes in life, and be happy for them, without feeling worse about ourselves. Showing appreciation for another’s success also helps them feel heard and happy too!
7. Embrace the Bad
Life isn’t all chocolates and roses. Sometimes it’s murky soil and weeds and that’s okay.
We cannot appreciate the good in our lives without accepting the bad. The negative aspect of our lives should be embraced. It might be difficult at first, particularly when we are dealing with grief or crime. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we can’t do something about the negative emotions, such as cry, scream, or be a bit kinder to ourselves for a while.
Having people around and expressing gratitude for their company during difficult times can help us to heal and overcome any dark moments that we might encounter.
8. Practise Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great tool to help us to practise gratitude daily. Taking time out to ground yourself and appreciate the present moment as it is has a variety of benefits, from an improvement in mental health, to better sleep and a happier outlook on life.
There are many ways you can use mindfulness to help you be grateful for the things around you. You could use yoga, meditation, breathwork, or being at one in the world during a long walk.
Why not take a look at this simple mindful gratitude exercise.
9. Pay Attention
On the same level as using mindfulness, paying closer attention to the world around you is another way to practise gratitude. Taking time to focus on the little things allows you to appreciate everything in your life and to be grateful for things you might have missed without spending time to acknowledge them.
Paying attention doesn’t just apply to settings, it can also apply to friends and family. Pay attention to their emotions, the things they say, or how they act. Listen when they confide in you. When you pay more attention you become a better friend.
10. Keep a Gratitude Journal
So you are using all the ideas above to practise gratitude on a daily basis, but how do you keep track of all the things you are thankful for in your life? By keeping a gratitude journal of course!
There are many on the market today, some plain, some sparkly, and some with prompts to help you come up with new things you are grateful for each and every day. Why not take a look here at some gratitude journal ideas to help you head into 2022 with a grateful outlook on your life?
We hope this list has provided you with a wide variety of ideas to help you practice gratitude on a daily basis and improve your mental wellbeing.
Remember we are always on hand to offer any advice, to provide information, or to answer any queries you might have. Just get in touch below, and we will respond to your request as soon as possible!