Gratitude is being thankful for the little things and returning the kindness to others. Cultivating a gratitude practice can relieve you of feeling unappreciated and infuse joy into your life. When you are thankful for all the little things, it rewires your brain towards happiness and seeing the good in everything. This is a great attitude to carry through life.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
When you perform a random act of kindness without expecting anything in return, you are cultivating gratitude in others, which in turn sparks joy in your life. You may do something for someone and they don’t even know you or maybe aren’t even able to thank you for it, but it is a guarantee that you will make someone else’s day better. For instance, pay for the next car in line at a coffee drive-thru or leave coupons you aren’t using on the shelf near the product. Guaranteed happiness for the recipient. These acts of kindness don’t have to be HUGE actions; even the little things will bring a smile and gratitude to the person who is the beneficiary of the kind act.
Make writing in a gratitude journal a non-negotiable every day. Each day when you wake up or before you go to bed, write 3-5 things you are thankful for. They do not have to be huge things or actions from your day. Be thankful for the little things because they add up to the big things. If someone smiles at you hold a door for you or lets you go first when pulling out of a parking lot, write it down. When you change your sheets, be thankful for the first night’s sleep on those clean sheets. If something makes you laugh or smile, write it down. If someone pays you a compliment or offers kind words, a perfect journal entry. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
Showing gratitude can have a positive impact on your life in many ways. When you practice gratitude, you become happier, feel healthier, strengthen your emotions, feel more optimistic, become less self-centered, increase your energy level, have general overall good feelings, feel friendlier, improve your productivity…just to name a few (www.happierhuman.com).
You may not see a correlation between gratitude and some of the improvements above, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Gratitude is a positive practice to adopt. When you are doing positive things that spark joy and happiness, you feel happier and joyful. When you feel happier and joyful, your stress recedes which improves your overall health. All areas of your life are affected when you have good overall health.
PAYING IT FORWARD
When someone does something nice for you or helps you in unexpected ways, it is wonderful to feel grateful for those efforts. By continuing the chain of kindness and then doing something nice for someone else, you are expressing gratitude and also spreading joy, which will hopefully encourage others to spread acts of kindness too. When you pay it forward, it doesn’t have to be a duplicate of the kindness paid to you. Any type of act of kindness will be appreciated.
COMPLIMENT A DAY
A simple yet impactful act of gratitude is giving at least one compliment a day. Spread the compliments around and it will not only make you feel good, but it will make others feel great too. It may even inspire a gratitude practice in someone else. It can be a direct compliment to a person or the sharing of your appreciation of something (www.unstuck.com).