Life seems to be moving at a crazy pace right now. As the world begins to turn at a faster pace, the news cycle delivers a never ending (usually negative) source of information, and challenges run rampant, we can all use a heavy dose of gratitude.
It’s not that we don’t know how to do it but we simply forget. Or, we lose perspective. There are many things to be grateful for right at our fingertips, and there are always things we can be doing to help others, even simply practicing self-awareness (to know how we affect others).
5 Ways to Practice Gratitude Today
Here are five easy ways to practice gratitude today.
1) Go out of your way to help someone. Normally, we do this consciously when it’s convenient. We might hold the door for someone, help them pick up something they dropped, etc. What we don’t do is actively look for ways to help people. It could be as easy as recognizing you have the means to pay for coffee, and doing so for someone else behind you, or simply asking the question, “What can I do to help you today?” to a coworker you know is stressed. Stop and think, that’s the key.
2) Take a deep breath and calm down. We’re all stressed. There is no life without stress, however, some people seem to handle it better than others. If you find yourself on the “uptight” end of the spectrum, take a deep breath and allow yourself to calm down. If you’re reading this and just said to yourself, “Well that certainly wouldn’t work”…then you’re exactly the person that needs to do it. The frenetic pace of our worrying doesn’t do anything to solve the very issues that stress us out; slow down. Try one of our Live Better meditations to help you get started.
3) Write a note to someone you care about. This is part of the “going out of your way to stop and help someone else” category. If you take time to be thankful for the people that help you live your life, you’ll feel the love in return. This in turn will help you feel better, selfishly creating a gratitude feedback loop of positive emotions.
4) Be grateful for your food. Our food gives us the energy we need to live our lives, yet we often reach into a plastic bag to eat on the run. We consume food at our desk, if at all, to work through lunch. Not only is eating while on the move or under stress not a healthy way to digest or absorb the food, but it also robs us of the opportunity to be grateful for it. If you’re looking for a way to go out of your way to help others, help feed someone that needs it. 10.5 percent (13.8 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2020 (USDA Economic Research Service).
5) Go outside. Go in search of sunshine or learn to love the rain. Find some grass to stand on, a park to sit in, or a garden to walk through. Second, if you live in a city, it’s easy to get trapped in the concrete and wish for the beach, even when greenery is right around the corner. Third, it’s vital for our health, both physically and mentally. Be thankful for the breath of fresh air (hint: great place for #2).
At the end of the day, the world will continue to spin, so it’s our choice how we move forward. We can choose to sit back. complain, and let it dictate how we feel, or we can do something about it and change it for the better. The best day ever is your choice; be grateful today that you have a chance to make it that way.