Daily habits of gratitude and appreciation are one of the highest emotional states you can experience. When you cultivate gratitude, you’re able to feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life. That said, it’s not always easy to maintain a stable sense of happiness – life and emotions get in the way of feeling emotionally free and content with things that may come your way. But even by remembering that you’re not alone if you have days when you feel down or unfulfilled – even the most successful people have to handle painful setbacks from time to time. In these moments of uncertainty and unhappiness, it is helpful to turn to gratitude for a good reason: research shows that being grateful can have the power to rewire your brain and boost a secure sense of self in everyday life. In what will feel like little to no time at all, the stuff you need to think about now will naturally become a part of your more joyful, thankful and new life. Bring on the happiness!
Not sure about where you should start? Read on for five tips that will help you make gratitude a regular practice in your life.
1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Oftentimes we have a habit of forgetting to appreciate our own positive qualities and accomplishments as we seem to fall into the trap of comparing our successes to other people’s. Of course, we all need acknowledgement, but the most important acknowledgement is that which we give ourselves, and we should try not to undervalue our achievements, no matter how small or mundane they might seem to us.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
The physical act of writing down what you are thankful for is also an emotional one. In your gratitude journal, you grant yourself the space to chronicle all the small yet significant details in your life that you can look back and reflect on to see how much you’ve grown emotionally throughout your mental health journey. Additionally, flipping through your journal can serve as a powerful reminder and instant mood enhancer anytime you’re feeling low. If you’re more internet-savvy, however, you can also opt for starting or even reading a personal development blog to read up on how to cultivate gratitude and, most importantly, how to cut out habits that are actually doing more harm than good.
3. Make an Effort to Appreciate the People Around You
Feeling bummed out? Try doing something nice for someone else – not only will this brighten your mood to bring someone else joy, but you’ll probably feel all the more grateful for your time, talents, abilities or whatever else you have to offer. Sometimes, all it takes is lending your listening ear for a few minutes or smiling to a stranger on the street. A simple act of kindness can equally make someone’s day, and you never quite know the extent of the impact it might have on someone else.