Developing gratitude has long-term positive effects on your life. It lowers stress, improves health and emotional resilience, and builds stronger relationships.
We can all be grateful for many things in our lives: our families, health, financial security. Gratitude for large blessings in our lives gives us a foundation for handling negatives within our human experience.
While gratitude for large things is important, in our day-to-day lives, finding gratitude for “little” things can create more personal growth. When we work to be grateful for small things, we recognize our blessings throughout the day. We appreciate what we have. It guides us to notice the positives in our lives.
But holding on to daily gratitude is easier said than done. You can read more about gratitude here.
Here are three ways to find gratitude in smaller things:
#1. | Create a morning ritual
We all have morning routines, whether they are planned or not. Intentionally creating a morning routine that includes a gratitude practice starts your day with positive emotions.
By beginning your day this way, you create opportunities to notice other positive things. For instance, you are grateful for hot coffee, so you notice your dog happily drinking her cool, clean water. You are grateful for being able to walk your dog, so you notice the leaves changing color. In other words, these small observations are what fills your life with joy.
PRO TIP: Use a journal. Writing down a short list of things and people you’re grateful for helps you think of new ways to be grateful, instead of running through the same five things or people. It helps you appreciate the small things that you may overlook.
#2. | Set an alarm
If your day is busy from the start, adding in a gratitude practice is just one more thing on your to-do list. Gratitude practice shouldn’t be a chore. It should be empowering.
A solution is to set an alarm for later in the day. When the alarm goes off, find a reason to be grateful for whatever you’re working on at that moment. Finding gratitude in even something as small as the proposal you’re writing or the laundry your folding honors your contribution. It doesn’t mean you need to like folding laundry, but you can be grateful you have warm, quality clothes for your family.
PRO TIP: Try to be grateful for things you might ordinarily see as negative. Instead of “I hate balancing budgets,” you can say, “I don’t like balancing budgets, but I’m grateful I get to see where we are using our resources.”
#3. | Reflect before bed
Another great time to practice gratitude is before bed. Engaging in self-reflection is a way of soothing your mind and preparing it for restful sleep.
By practicing gratitude before bed, you also may sleep better. Because thinking positive thoughts before bed lowers stress, it allows for deeper and more restful sleep. It also may help you wake up happier, not just because you slept more – although there’s no denying that helps, but because your subconscious brain begins the day with positive feelings and gratitude.
PRO TIP: Pair your gratitude practice with deep breathing. With each full breath, think of one person or thing you’re grateful for. Center on that thought for the entire breath. Feel your gratitude rise as you inhale and allow the positive emotions to fill you. Repeat for several breaths.
#4. | Participate in a gratitude challenge
Challenges help you practice personal gratitude because they remind you to do it, plus they give you parameters to think about new ways to be grateful.
Challenges run for a set number of days, and they encourage you to share your gratitude with others. Also, some prompt you to share your ideas, others include actions. Either way, challenges work because they establish a habit. The idea would be to continue the practice beyond the challenge. In addition, it doesn’t have to be the same way, but continuing the habit yields benefits.
PRO TIP: Participate in our 30-day challenge! It’s a perfect time to remember all of the reasons you can be grateful.
Here’s how to participate: Grab a journal, notebook, or even a few sheets of paper. Find time to respond to the prompts each day. Feel free to share using the hashtag #busbeegratitudechallenge. You can also join, follow, and share in the private Facebook group, The Hive.
Will you be participating in this challenge? Please let us know in the comments or join The Hive!
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