Learning Gratitude: 6 Ways To Cultivate Gratitude Every Day
As you work to incorporate the lessons from the Law of Attraction into your everyday life, a running theme will be your attempts to maintain a positive attitude. Cultivating gratitude is a powerful way to fight negativity, as well as anxiety.
When you focus in on the things that make you feel happy and lucky to be alive, you radiate an infectious optimism that attracts only the best from the world around you. Here are six exercises and habits that can help you become a more grateful person.
1. Keep A Gratitude Diary
Find a notebook with a beautiful cover (or design that cover with your own images), and use this as your designated gratitude diary. You can write in it every day, every second day or even just once a week, but it should contain only notes about things you’ve experienced or considered that make you feel truly grateful.
Psychologists note that this practice can boost daily energy and reduce the focus on the pain. Remember that you’re not just looking for big events, like a marriage proposal or a new job. You should be aiming to add all the little things that make you feel good, like a hot bath that soothes muscle pain, hearing your favorite song, or cuddling your pet.
The point of this exercise is to avoid taking things for granted and to find joy in everyday experiences.
2. Practice Gratitude Affirmations
You may already be reciting affirmations that connect with your major goals (such as finding love, developing your career or increasing your self-esteem). However, it’s worth adding in an affirmation that helps you turn into your gratitude.
It might be as simple as saying “I am ready to receive the day, and I will be grateful for all the beautiful things I encounter” or “I am grateful for all of life’s exciting opportunities.” If you’d prefer, design your affirmation to reflect specific things that inspire gratitude, such as your loved ones, health, financial stability or talents.
3. Make A Photo Collage
Try assembling a collage of photos that connect you with your feelings of gratitude. One obvious way to approach it is to use images of yourself and loved ones, but you can be as creative as you like. For example, you could cut symbolic pictures out of magazines, with each image representing a source of joy in your life.
However, you approach the collage, make sure you assemble it in a place that you’ll see it on a daily basis. You might want to put it on the first wall you’ll look at when you get up in the morning, or perhaps near your workstation (at home, or in the office if you have the freedom to do so).
4. Thank People
While there’s a lot of power in an every day “thank you” (said in the stores, during a commute or when a stranger helps you), you might also want to try communicating your deeper sense of gratitude towards people who have made a lasting impact.
Think about the people who have shaped and changed your life for the better, and consider some ways to communicate how thankful you are. Some people might be especially moved by a letter enumerating all the things you appreciate, while someone else might prefer a brief word of thanks paired with a gift (such as an engraved piece of jewelry).
5. Find The Positive
When you have a spare hour to reflect, try an exercise that finds the good in some of life’s most challenging moments. Write down 5-10 of the things you appreciate most. For example, relationships, experiences, possessions, or even just life lessons that serve you particularly well.
Then, next to each item on the list, write down at least one difficulty that, had you not had to face it, would not have helped you appreciate that item more. Keep the list as a reminder that every seemingly negative event can lead to something incredibly valuable and important.
Need help with this exercise? Be sure to read our suggested list of things to be thankful for:
6. Give Back To Society
Sometimes, what inspires most gratitude is an awareness that you enjoy many basic things that others, unfortunately, lack, such as a safe place to stay, enough money to buy food, and the knowledge that people are looking out for you.
When you’re thinking about this type of gratitude, why not do something to give back to the world around you? You could take up regular volunteer work, go and deliver flowers to an elderly care home, or make a donation to a cause that’s close to your heart.
The main idea here is that making a point of reflecting on the things that are easy to take for granted can not only help you realize how lucky you are but also give you an opportunity to improve the lives of others.