Why Practice Gratitude & How to be More Grateful
Be grateful is a phrase people use a lot in many different situations. But I’m a strong believer in practicing gratitude on the daily. Being grateful, or having gratitude, is something that’s easy when we are at the peak of our lives—but it’s difficult to do when things are difficult. Being grateful is something that requires practice and intentionality.
What Gratitude is Not:
Being grateful is not ignoring all the crap that’s happening around you.
Gratitude is not ignorance.
Gratitude is not suppressing your other emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, etc.
Gratitude is not the same everyday—just because you’re not grateful today doesn’t make you a bad person.
Gratitude is not happiness.
Being grateful doesn’t mean you cannot feel other feelings.
Why I think it’s important to practice Gratitude:
Shifts Your Mindset
If you are intentionally to practice being grateful, that very act of practicing will shift your mindset. When you start, it may not seem like anything is happening to your attitude or mindset, but overtime it will shift over and you’ll see the small things that we take for granted. It will help you to focus on what you have and not what you lack. It will help you to see the good small things, and not the bad small things.
See the one good thing, not the bad day
There’s an infamous quote that goes, “Not everyday is going to be a good day, but there’s going to something good in everyday.” And I couldn’t agree more. Not everyday is going to be a good day. But being grateful is not about making everyday a good day. But it is about acceping the bad day as a bad day and still choosing to acknowledge the one good thing within that day. This very act of choosing to acknowledge the one good thing will help your gratitude.
Focus on the now, not tomorrow
Practicing gratitude, in my experience, has helped me a lot to focus on today, focus on the now. To make the best of what I have, where I’m at, at this very moment. To live in this moment and do the best I can. I’m a futuristic person (I like to plan and I’m constantly thinking about the future), so it’s actually difficult for me to just sit in the moment, focus on today, and be thankful for where I’m at, for what I have, for this very day. Not that I didn’t appreciate those things, but I was always just thinking about what’s next and my mind is running at 150mph all the time. It wasn’t until I started to be intentional in practicing gratitude that really helped me to focus on the now, to live and bloom where I’m at, to live today.
Helps you to stop making excuses
A lot of times, if I want to do something or start something, I make all types of excuses as to why I can’t do that thing. I think a lot of people fall into this category. They think they need x,y,z before they can start something or do something. Or they say they can’t start because of x,y,z.
Want to start photography? You don’t need a Canon Mark III to start it. Want to start a blog? You don’t a brand-new laptop or Macbook to start it. I’ve noticed that through practicing gratitude, my excuses have decreased. I look at what I have and where I’m at in my life, then I choose a decision.
How to Start being more Grateful:
I start every morning off with listing 3-5 things I’m grateful for within the last 24 hours. I find that doing this in the morning helps me to reflect but also sets the tone of my day ahead. There’s also the 5 Minute Journal or the Start Today journal if you want a more guided routine. For this I find that writing them down helps them to stay in my head longer. But writing them down is not necessary.
If you’ve been quarreling with someone, this gratitude activity is good for you. This activity is not easy but it’ll help you.
Write down that person’s name, then write down 1-3 things that they did that was good (whether towards you or someone/thing else), that they said that was good (again to you or someone else). This will help you to shift your mind to look at the good things they’ve actually done instead of just focus on the good. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the “bad” things someone has done that our minds completely shut off all the good things they actually did or said to us. So we end up thinking that they’ve never done anything good at all. This activity works for jobs too. If you’re in a job you don’t enjoy or like, think about all the things you’ve learned.
And do this EVERY DAY! Repetition is what’s going to change your attitude.
I also end my day with gratitude. For this I don’t necessarily list 3-5 specific things I’m grateful for. I find one or two good things that happened that day and I write them down. Even if that entire day, the only good thing was my car didn’t break down—I write that down. Then I thank God for the day and end my night with a prayer.
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I have found more peace in my head and my heart and I continue to practice gratitude. It has helped me also be more intentional in the decisions I make and what I do. I also appreciate the small things and I’m more in the moment versus worrying over tomorrow.
I hope this post was helpful for you! I know there are many different ways people practice gratitude or different approaches on how to be more grateful. If you have other tips or ideas, share them in the comments!
FTC: Not sponsored. Affiliate links used.