Abundant Living, Featured Category, Mental Health

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

November 21, 2019

Photo credit: Pro Church Media/Unsplash

 Currently, how do you practice gratitude? Today, I want to discuss 5 ways to practice gratitude in our lives. I believe that gratitude is a skill that we all must cultivate.

Consequently, cultivating gratitude allows us to strengthen our mindset, boost self-esteem, build healthier relationships, and develop stronger boundaries.

In the US, Thanksgiving is celebrated the last Thursday of November. During the month of November, most people focus on things they are grateful for and may consider ways they can show gratitude to others.

However, I want us to develop an attitude of daily gratitude. No, it won’t always be perfect because there are difficult days where life feels unbearable. And that’s why gratitude is a skill to be practiced, not just an emotion to deal with.

When we treat gratitude as a skill, we will develop consistency in practicing gratitude rather than doing it only when we feel like it.

Cultivating gratitude allows us to strengthen our mindset, boost self-esteem, build healthier relationships, and develop stronger boundaries. Click To Tweet

 

Focusing on Gratitude

I’ve discovered that when train yourself to focus on gratitude, you take your mind off the problem and allow yourself to focus on faith. Focusing on faith and God reminds you that nothing lasts forever, and therefore, this season will pass too.

Focusing on gratitude reminds you of the strengths you do have and the times you’ve gotten through those difficult patches.

I believe that gratitude is one of the best skills that we can develop and practice. It is difficult to stay angry when you are feeling grateful. It is difficult to feel unworthy when you think of all the blessings you do have.

Don’t misunderstand me…I’m not saying that gratitude will rid you of all negative emotions. I will never tell you to not feel the difficult emotions. But what I am saying is that staying stuck in difficult emotions keeps you rooted in fear, anger, and hurt. And we do not experience growth this way.

 

It is difficult to stay angry when you are feeling grateful. It is difficult to feel unworthy when you think of all the blessings you do have. Click To Tweet

 

Choose Healing…

 Hence, gratitude is one of those skills that help you to move forward and heal. If you’re truly interested in healing, then also checkout the post on forgiveness.

 

So, how do you practice gratitude?

Here are 5 ways to practice gratitude in your life:

  1. Every morning before you roll out of bed and rush around in a mad craze, take the time to give thanks to God for 3 -5 things. It can be big or small things. You may even be grateful for the same thing every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s about you or something or someone else. You can find 3 things at least daily.

 

  1. Keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Take time to journal your thoughts and process the day before and/or the day ahead; write down 1-3 things that you are looking forward to for that day.

 

  1. When someone says, “Thank you,” be sure to acknowledge their gratitude. Whether with a smile or a kind word, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that you acknowledged the person’s intention to express gratitude to you. And in turn, please make sure to say, “Thank you,” when someone does something to show kindness to you, no matter how big or small.

 

  1. Be more attentive in your daily life. Just like there is a season for everything, there is a time for when you should be on your phone and when you should not be.

 

When you are in the presence of your loved ones, be respectful and acknowledge that this time is neither guaranteed or promised. Put the phone down and give the person the gift of your attention. Thus, expressing gratitude and love for the time that you have with your loved ones.

 

  1. Stop complaining. As I mentioned about, we all experience difficult emotions (anger, frustration, annoyance, so on) but they only suck our energy. They do not boost our moods or improve our mindsets.

 

Take time to explore the emotion to discover the trigger and address the need that the motion is identifying. Then, let it go and move forward. Complaining is a sign of mental weakness and inability to regulate your emotions. It does not indicate a person with strong mental skills.

 

Reflection

I’ve offered some simple and practical ways that gratitude can be implemented in your life. I’ve shown a few ways that this skill can add value to your life. However, as with any skill, you must practice it. It is not a one-and-done thing. Like physical exercise, you may not see the benefits after a few attempts. But consistency builds habits. Gratitude as a habit is powerful. Over time, the results are transformative.

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