• Amy

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

we love to complain but it doesn't bring sustainable joy. Here are my best tips for practicing gratitude in your life.


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Before I list the things I just want to say that these are practices for everyday. Everyday advice isn't always applicable in extreme cases. Not everything negative is complaining and not every situation has to be turned positive. Sometimes life really does suck.


But in general, there is probably room for us all to be more thankful.


1. reflect

Thinking and reflecting is the most obvious way to practice gratitude.

Most often when we complain it's because we are speaking without thinking. We let out a whine before we think about how that whining will affect others and how it will affect ourselves.


If I focus on how much my feet hurt in my high heels. I'll probably have less of a good time and I'll probably ruin the vibe for others. If I can force myself to think before I speak I can decide to either 1) do something about the issue 2) say something positive instead (maybe the shoes are killing me but they're also super cute)


That is such a silly example.


All I am saying is with a little reflection we could turn our attitude around to be grateful for what we have rather than resentful of inconvenience.


2. count

We've all been told to count our blessings around thanksgiving and it can seem a little forced. But if you think about counting your blessings at certain times - like when you're stressed or in a bad mood- it might be more meaningful.


Also don't stop at the big things. Count everything you can think of:

I'm thankful it's sunny today

I'm thankful we had such a good lunch

I'm thankful for shoes that fit

I'm thankful for all 3 cups of coffee today

I'm thankful for the progress I made today even though it wasn't as much as I wanted

....


3. journal

Journaling is something I've built into my day. I put in the bare minimum. I write one sentence a day. In my journal I write:

I am grateful for_____________


And that's it. I find that it is sometimes repetitive. Especially since I always do it in the morning so I'm often tempted to write that I'm thankful for coffee and sleep.


Sometimes our habits/routines don't show fruit all the time. But that doesn't mean they aren't doing us good. I think this is one of those things.


4. speak

These last two practices are ways we can bless others with our gratitude.


Gratitude is being thankful for what we have. But true gratitude makes us want to give out of what we've been given.


One of the best ways to give gratitude is through our words.

It's basic stuff like saying thank you. It can also be letting your loved ones know how much you love them and how much you appreciate what they do for you.


There are people all around us who serve us. Showing them gratitude is the fruit of a grateful heart.


5. give

One of the other best ways to give gratitude is through literal giving.


Being grateful means that we appreciate what we've been given. It really is better to give than to receive. When we have grateful hearts it will be our joy to give.


Sometimes it costs us to give. It takes heart reflection to know when and what to give.


Are we giving of our time or money? Are we giving clothing or our expertise or our emotional space? Are we ready to be generous to a friend or are we setting aside money to donate?


We like to give out of our pride to feel good about ourselves. It's not easy to have a perfect heart about giving.


But regardless. it's definitely on the list. A grateful heart is a giving heart.



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Please! Let me know if you've found other ways to check your heart and practice gratitude.


-Amy