10 Tips – Practice Gratitude to Improve Your Life
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that you can experience. It connects you to what is truly important in your life. It reminds you that as long as you’re breathing, everything is going to be okay. And it helps frame your day, your expectations, and your actions.
But how and why does it impact your journey of self-Improvement? This article covers the underlying laws, ongoing research, and some practical tips on how to embrace gratitude to change and improve your life.
What does Gratitude have to do with Self-improvement?
If you are asking can gratitude change or improve your life the following should clarify the answer:
The Law of Gratitude Meaning:
This law states – “The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for. Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.”
This is basically the law of attraction which states that as all life is Energy you will attract to you that which are a vibrational match to.
Even if you choose not to believe in these laws it’s hard to deny that being happier and more positive in life is more conducive to you setting and working on goals with hope and expectancy that you will succeed.
When you apply and discover the power of gratitude you can even learn to be happy for your “problems” and “failures” as these are the essential building blocks on the road to most people’s success. In other words, you are grateful for every step you take on your journey.
Therefore gratitude and success go hand in hand.
What gratitude does to your Brain
Research from UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Centre is showing that “having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps grey matter functioning and makes us healthier and happier”.
What are the benefits of Gratitude?
Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to:
- greater success in work,
- greater health,
- peak performance in sports and business,
- a higher sense of well-being,
- and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
How do You get into a state of Gratitude?
For gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word.
We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why incorporating a gratitude practice in your daily life makes so much sense.
When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
We get the chance to become a better version of ourselves at every challenge we encounter.
When you can truly “feel” gratitude is when you have accessed its Power!
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s also not comparing what you have to what others do or don’t have. It’s more a matter of how and where we put our focus and attention.
Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the fact that life is truly a gift and a miracle, we gain a feeling of well-being no matter the circumstances.
Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies.
What’s on your list?
10 Tips – Practice Gratitude
For some people, these tips might seem common sense but for others, they are good ways to learn how to practice being grateful in life:
#1 Do Something Nice for a Stranger
Gratitude is an emotion that resonates deep inside you. It makes you feel good, hopeful, and connected to others. There are many ways to express gratitude not just by what you are receiving but also by what you are giving.
Every day, you have an opportunity to experience gratitude by doing something nice for strangers. Hold a door for someone. Offer help when you see someone struggling. Offer a friendly smile. Or if you’re feeling truly generous, pay it forward and buy the coffee for the person in line behind you.
Making this type of behavior part of your every day changes how you interact and engage with the world. It makes you feel more grateful for your life.
#2 Keep a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals became popular about ten years ago. Oprah talked about how powerful gratitude was for her and people took note. A gratitude journal is a daily practice where you write down a number of things that you’re grateful for every day.
You can make it part of your daily routine by writing in your journal first thing in the morning as you look at your day or last thing at night. You use a mobile app or a plain notebook but the sooner you start the sooner you will reap the benefits.
#3 Reconnect With Friend or Family
Reconnecting with friends and family reminds you about the wonderful people that you have in your life.
Stop waiting for others to contact you first. Pick up the phone and reach out to someone. They’ll be delighted to hear from you and you’ll feel great about the relationship.
#4 Wear A “No Complaining” Bracelet
Complaining is kind of the opposite of gratitude. And like gratitude, complaining can easily become a habit.
You can break the habit by wearing a bracelet. The goal is to wear the bracelet on one wrist for thirty days. But if you complain, you have to move it to your other wrist and start over.
You might be surprised how difficult it can be to keep complaints to yourself for 30 whole days!
By the end of the challenge, your mindset will have changed. You’ll be more grateful and able to focus on what is good in your life.
#5 Forgive Yourself or Someone Else
Forgiveness is powerful. It releases anger, hurt, and frustration from you and makes room for positive emotions like gratitude.
If you find that you are still hurting or upset from something that someone else did to you, spend some time thinking about how that anger and hurt is actually hurting you. Forgive them anyway. It does not mean you condone their behavior instead it means the anger no longer has power over you.
And if you’re angry with yourself about something, release it. You did your best at the time. Grow from the experience and move forward in gratitude that you got to experience something you no longer wish to carry with you through life.
#6 Say Thank You to Express Your Gratitude
It’s so simple and yet we forget to say these two words.
Say thank you when you receive kindness from others. The person you’re thanking will feel appreciated. You’ll feel good about yourself and them. Consistently expressing gratitude helps you to build better relationships and connections.
You can also express gratitude when you receive good service by leaving a generous tip.
#7 Do Something That You Love
It’s easier to feel grateful when you have joy in your life. And of course, some days, weeks…ah okay some years are more difficult than others. However, there’s time to find joy in each day.
For example, listen to your favorite song and dance or sing along at the top of your voice. Pet a puppy. Go for a walk and enjoy nature. Even in the city, you can see birds playing in the trees. If you have more than a few minutes, take a class or find a new hobby. Or spend time on a memory that makes you smile.
#8 Send Hand Written Thank You Notes
Email is awesome but there’s something extra special about a personal touch such as sending and receiving a hand-written note.
Buy pretty stationery and notecards and get into the habit of writing people you love. Hint…parents and grandparents really like this and it helps you stay connected.
And if you don’t already, say thank you for gifts and kind thoughts and efforts with a handwritten thank you note. Send someone you love a note telling them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Never underestimate the power of “thanks.”
#9 Donate Time or Money or Things
Find some extra time or a little extra money and give to a charity or cause that is important to you.
And when you clean out your closets or find that you have some extra material goods around the home, consider donating them.
Gratitude is often enhanced and more readily embraced when you give to others. It serves as a reminder about all that you have.
#10 Accept and Give Compliments
Giving compliments is enjoyable and it’s free. It can be fun to see someone’s face light up when you tell them you admire their hard work or that the project they’ve been working on is top quality.
But it’s not always so easy to accept compliments. When someone pays you a compliment, absorb it and say thank you. Don’t negate the compliment with self-deprecating comments. Honor their gesture with genuine thanks.
The same is true when you give compliments. Give them from the heart and without any intention other than to recognize someone’s skills, effort, or talents.
Self-improvement encompasses your whole being – mind, body, and spirit.
The great thing about gratitude is that once you invite it into your life, it is easier to make it a part of your every day. To embrace it and feel it on a regular basis, take actions that reinforce the emotion. Just by taking a few simple steps, you can invite more of this amazing emotion into your life which will extend to every area of your life AND touch other’s lives. This is the Power of Gratitude at play.
I hope you found these 10 simple tips on how to practice gratitude to improve your life useful. Do you have other ways you practice gratitude in your daily life? Leave a comment.
10 Tips – Practice Gratitude to Improve Your Life