Daily gratitude is a habit that can benefit all of us. If more people practiced daily gratitude, there’s a good chance we’d have a more empathetic, caring society. Gratitude reminds us that things shouldn’t be taken for granted and that being grateful for what we have is an essential part of a healthy mindset.
Have you practiced gratitude before? Do you know what it actually means, why it matters, and how to include it in your daily mindset? In this guide, we’ll cover this and more. Here’s your simple recipe for daily gratitude.
What Is Gratitude?
So, what does it actually mean to be grateful? What is gratitude? Most people think of the common phrase “thank you” when gratitude is mentioned, but it’s so much more than just a phrase showing appreciation for action or feeling. Gratitude runs deeper, down to our very soul. Being grateful for your life, your friends and family, and the opportunities you’ve been granted is what is considered gratitude.
Gratitude is an emotion that we’ve all felt at some point. You can feel the difference between simply saying thank you and actually being truly grateful for someone’s efforts. Maybe you’re grateful for your father’s efforts to help you fix your car for free. Or, maybe you’re grateful that you’ve been granted the opportunity to reach your dream job. There are a million different things to be grateful for in our lives.
Don’t make the common mistake of thinking you should only practice gratitude for big things in life. A slight breeze on a summer day, the sun shining on your face, or a successful bible meditations session are all things to be grateful for.
Why Does It Matter?
Why does gratitude matter, anyway? What’s the point of being grateful or showing that you’re grateful? I’m glad you asked. Gratitude is important for a number of reasons. To begin with, it strengthens our relationships with other people, with God, and with ourselves. Being grateful for the love of a family member, of God, or for being able to love who you are as a person is uplifting and motivating.
Gratitude can also take the form of selfless acts. When you appreciate someone’s presence in your life, you’re more apt to go out of your way to help them or improve their lives in some way. When’s the last time someone did something really nice for you out of the blue? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? You were grateful for that action, just as they were showing their gratitude for your presence in their life.
Showing your gratitude can make you a more mindful and compassionate person. When you understand the things you’re grateful for, the things that make a difference in your life, it’s far easier to empathize with someone else’s suffering. You’ll start to see that not everyone has the same privileges, opportunities, or resources as you do. You’ll begin to understand that the world isn’t at an even keel, and some people are more fortunate than others.
Even if you don’t have access to lots of resources or opportunities, you should still show gratitude for the things you do have access to. Life itself is a wonderful gift, and we should all be grateful that we’re breathing today!
How To Practice Gratitude
How does one learn to practice more gratitude in their life? Luckily, there are hundreds of ways to show your gratitude both to yourself and to other people.
Some people choose to keep a gratitude journal. At the beginning or end of every day, they’ll jot down some of the things that occurred on that day or people they interacted with that they are grateful for. A journal is a great resource for when you’re feeling down, as you can look back at all of the things you can be grateful for.
Doing Something Nice:
If there’s a person in your life you love and admire, you can show them gratitude by doing something nice. It can be something small like taking them to a movie, to the park, or out for ice cream, or something big like paying for college, fixing their car, or offering to fix up their house for them. You can also just tell them how grateful you are that they’re in your life! Don’t discount the power of words.
Appreciate The Little Things:
Sadly, the little “wins” in our day are often overlooked or even forgotten, but it’s important to remember that everything is something to be grateful for. If you’re breathing, in good health, and have a roof over your head, you should be grateful!
Don’t Ignore The Challenges:
We tend to give obstacles and challenges a negative connotation, and that’s not a good practice to keep. Challenges offer us a unique opportunity to grow and evolve, which is something we should always be grateful for. The hardest challenges often reap the richest rewards, but it’s difficult to be grateful for it while you’re going through it. That’s why self-reflection is so important.
Volunteer work or something similar is a great way to include other people in your gratitude. There are always organizations that need volunteers. Volunteering is a selfless way to give back to the community and show your gratitude for being a part of the human community.
Take Time To Be Grateful Today
Take some time out of your day today and be grateful for everything around you. Take a look at even the smallest things—today’s good weather, the good food you ate for dinner, etc. Don’t be afraid to make gratitude a daily habit, even for things that seem small.