Gratitude, defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the state of being grateful. Gratitude is something that we often never take the time out to acknowledge in our own lives. It is free to give and receive and yet we somehow never do it as often as we should. Many times, the daily asks of the world grab our attention and it can be difficult to let go and focus on what matters. If you haven’t tapped into your gratitude lately or need some tips on how to – look no further! Here are some ideas to help you tap into your gratitude.
Find gratitude in your challenges
At times we only associate the term grateful for things that are great! The interesting thing about being grateful is that it can also be connected to the negative things we experience in life as well. The common question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” is one example of showing your gratitude during the challenges we face.
Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for. Despite all the bad we may have been through in life; we must still be able to find the positives. Think about the amount of compassion we learned in order to show up and the impact we are able to have on other people.
I strongly encourage you to dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today.
Don’t be picky
Similar to what I mentioned earlier, we sometimes think gratitude should only be expressed for the things that “matter”. Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
Being grateful that you were able to wake up and have the regular things that many of us take for granted daily is a great way to start. For an example that could apply to most, appreciate the fact that you are able to use some or all of your natural senses – smell, sight, hearing, touch etc.
Spend time with loved ones
Spending time with loved ones is a no brainer! Start small if you are having trouble finding ways to support your friends and family. For instance, why don’t you make sure you’re listening intently the next time someone shares a story with you.
If you’re struggling with feeling the gratitude in the moment, go spend time with your friends and family. Of course it will help you grow closer to them and strengthen your relationship, but it will also give you a chance to practice your acts of gratitude on people that you care about. Or, start a conversation with a difficult member of the family by complimenting their new shoes or haircut.
Journal about the things you are thankful for
Journaling can be very therapeutic for your mental state, in addition to helping you put things in perspective. Writing down your positive thoughts can help you see them in a different light. While you are putting the pen to paper, you have no choice but to consciously think about the words you are writing without other distracting, ungrateful thoughts creeping in.
You can journal every day after your gratitude practice, or you can come back to the journal on a regular schedule, weekly or monthly. The decision is totally up to you. Journaling is great because we can always look back and read on the good we had when going through a stormy season in life and instantly bring back those same good feels. Check out 6 Tips to Help You Start Journaling for tips on getting started.
For many people, the key to having more gratitude is to give back to others in their local community. Not only will it make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted, but studies have shown that volunteering for the purpose of helping others increases our own well being, and thus our ability to have more gratitude.
As a community, it is our duty to help others and vice versa. When we help others in return it helps us realize how good our lives may be in comparison to other individual’s lives. Volunteering is the single most reliable way to momentarily increase your gratitude and open the door for more positivity to come your way.
Related: 6 Reasons Why It Pays to Be Positive
Although I could go on and on with this list of ways to help you tap into your gratitude, these are just a few ideas that can help you get you started. How often do you show your gratitude? When you do show gratitude how is it that you express yourself? Check us out on our Twitter and Instagram @citygirlsavings, and if you haven’t started following our Facebook group page, please don’t by shy we love hearing from our CGS community members!
The CGS Team