Seven Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude
Having a practice of saying THANK YOU on a regular basis, even daily, has the power to shift your mindset.
I'm speaking from personal experience. I started a daily gratitude practice several years ago first by writing, and now often drawing, collaging and painting. I focus on something I'm grateful for that happened during that day. It also requires me to sit, reflect on my day, and put my art supplies to good use.
I have to admit some days are easy to find gratitude- like sharing a good meal with a friend, seeing a beautiful sunset, documenting a funny quote my kid said. But the true test has been on the tough days when things aren't going so great and I'm in a bad mood or stressed out- this is the time where searching for gratitude has been challenging and also the most rewarding- literally the day when I need to feel gratitude the most. This exercise has given me the ability to shift my perspective, reduce my stress, and even allowed me to get a decent night's sleep.
I came up with 7 simple ways to show gratitude- some are obvious, and some might be new to you. Hopefully one or two will spark your interest and you can start using them to shift your own mindset by showering your appreciation on others (and yourself).
- Start a gratitude journaling practice. I already shared it above- writing or creatively documenting something you are grateful for on a daily basis in a gratitude journal will shift your mood and help you appreciate the small things.
- Give a compliment to a stranger. This can lift someone else's mood tremendously and it will make you feel good too.
- Call someone (yes- pick up the phone!) and speak to a human. Someone you haven't spoken to in a long time- just to say "Hello."
Make a meal or bake something special and share it with your neighbor. If you are already friendly with your neighbors, it's easy to do this, but if you are not, this might be a fun way to get to know them.
- Send a surprise care package to a friend, particularly if it's someone you know who is going through a difficult time. This is guaranteed to brighten their day.
- Create a playlist for a person and share it with them. Since no one makes mixed tapes anymore you can easily curate a special Spotify playlist for someone and then send them a link and share it. Include a message about why you chose certain songs just for them.
- Write a thank you note. This one is obvious, but it still needs to be said. Use some of that stationery you've been hoarding or saving for a special occasion, grab your favorite pen, write a note, then put an actual stamp on it and have it delivered the old fashioned way via USPS. Everyone likes getting snail mail!