One of my goals for 2017 is to intentionally practice gratitude. It’s easy for me to give thanks for the big, great things in my life (my family, friends, food, and home). On the other hand, it can be difficult for me to be grateful for the trials and hard days. One of my sweet blogger friends actually shared about this recently. This year, I want to focus on the little things that make each day better, even on the difficult days.
Gratitude is defined as
“the state of being grateful, or appreciative of the benefits received”. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
When I was younger, I was always the optimistic, happy one of my friends. Unfortunately with all of the busyness in life over the last year, I saw myself get a little more negative. This impacted my attitude at work and in my relationships. Rarely did I give myself the time and space to look for the good in each day. This year, I want to change that.
The benefits of practicing gratitude include increased happiness, optimism, improved relationships, and positively impact everyone you come in contact with. In addition to mental health benefits, multiple studies have shown overwhelming physical health benefits too.
How to practice gratitude
Here are some ways to practice gratitude:
- Buy a gratitude journal like this one I have or a calendar and write 1-3 small things that made a positive impact in your day
- Write a letter to someone you are grateful for and tell them what it is about them you are thankful for
- Every Saturday, journal 5-10 things that brightened your week
- Re-frame your thinking in a negative situation
- Compliment someone daily
- Do a random act of kindness each day
- Go a week without gossiping/being negative
- Make a list of things you are good at
- Put down your phone and be in the moment (with friends, nature, your surroundings)
- Give thanks in the hard times- this is what shapes your character and makes you stronger
Periodically I will share my weekly gratitude list here on the blog to hold myself accountable.
This week, I am grateful for:
Delicious hot chocolate to warm myself up in the cold weather
Cold weather and warm sweaters
Week days off from school
My students’ smiles and stories
Chuck’s ears (seriously, look at these floppy things)
What are you grateful for this week? What is your favorite way to practice gratitude? Leave me a comment below!
You can grab your own grateful journal here: