The other day I posted an infographic on exercises you can do to get yourself into a state of gratitude. I want to take the time today to expand on that and list some ways to increase your feeling of gratitude.
Perhaps one of the most important predictors of happiness and well-being in life is the frequency at which one experiences gratitude. In fact, a growing body of psychological research has been proven to support the science of gratitude and its implications for a better and more fulfilling life. Studies have shown that things like making a gratitude list or sending a thank you card have increased positive feelings and decreased anxiety and stress.
So the questions now are, how does one find and develop gratitude in their own life? How often does a person need to appreciate what they have?
The answer to the second question is relatively easy, as often as possible. The answer to the first question, however, can stump many. That is why this blog post lists several methods for practicing gratitude. The great thing is, the majority of these methods require little time and are simple to do. That is, so long as you’re willing to take a few moments out of your day to actually attempt working with them.
Sample Gratitude Exercises:
- Donate to a charity
- Perform volunteer work
- Send a thank-you note to someone who has helped you
- Say the words “Thank You” as often as possible
- Make a list of people you are grateful for and list why
- Make a list of things about yourself that you are proud of and list why
- Write a journal or diary entry about the experiences you are most grateful for and why.
- Try thinking about what life would be like if you didn’t have food or shelter or if an essential person in your life was removed from it for some reason. Then write down your feelings and focus on why these things are so important to you.
- What do you find joy in? Make a list of things you find joy in engaging in. Then take some time each day to do at least one of those things.
- Dedicate something to someone else. It could be a song, a piece of art, a poem, or anything else you can think of.
- Start a gratitude jar. Every time you are thankful for something, write it down and put it in the jar. Every week or month, remove and read what has been left in the jar.
- Ask other people why they like you or what they think about you is unique.
- Listen to gratitude music like the example directly below
All of these are pretty easy to do, but it does take time and effort to put them into practice. However, by engaging in any of these activities, you will discover how much of a difference it makes in your daily life.
So take five or maybe ten minutes a day to put any of these into practice. Join a growing number of people already taking advantage of the power of gratitude to improve the quality of their life.
How to Find Happiness
As mentioned, gratitude is a crucial component of being happy. Many people struggle to have happiness simply because they are always searching for more than what they already have. This is a universal issue among most humans, from the poor and needy to the rich and wealthy. Most all people want more than what they currently have.
In essence, there is a false belief that has circulated for eons that if a person gets X, Y, or Z, then they will finally be happy. That’s seldom true, however. In fact, when a person gets what they want, they find it isn’t enough to sustain their happiness for an extended period.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t have goals and that we shouldn’t work to accomplish those goals. Goals are also a natural component to increasing happiness. But a more significant factor in determining happiness is how satisfied we are with what we already have in life. Unless a person can find satisfaction for what is and be okay with it, joy will often elude them. This will continue to be true no matter how many goals are accomplished or what good things may manifest in their life.
So what then is the key to being content with what is? What is the key for helping a person to stay present with where they are in life and to not worry about what’s to come? Some would argue gratitude. Thus, practicing the exercises presented here can go a long way in helping many feel more content with their lives and gain more happiness.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. There are certainly more ways to practice gratitude than what has been listed here. Still, this starting list will be an excellent resource for helping you on your quest for discovering and feeling more gratitude in your life.