Gratitude is great for the mind and spirit.
Research tells us that when we start each day with a feeling of gratitude in our hearts, we remember to be more thankful for the little miracles we experience as we move through our schedule. When used correctly, an attitude of gratitude can eliminate stress, reduce your risk of depression, and even help you to sleep better too.
The trouble is, if you’re not used to keeping gratitude at the front of your mind each day, it can be difficult to implement that strategy in your day-to-day routine. One common piece of advice is to use a gratitude journal. Documenting your thoughts and feelings each day can be a great way to help you review the things that make you happy. However, what do you do when journaling just doesn’t suit you?
Some people need more than just a pen and paper to introduce them to the benefits of gratitude.
Why You Need the Gratitude Attitude
If you’ve tried journaling before, but it hasn’t done anything to change your life, then you might be wondering why you should bother trying anything else.
For those of us living a busy schedule, making time for “mindful gratefulness” can seem like just another task on a long to-do-list. However, the truth is that gratitude offers a host of fantastic benefits to the human mind, body, and spirit.
One study published by the Psychosomatic Medicine journal found gratitude can make you healthier. In the study, 70 adults with stage B hear5t failure were asked to engage in gratitude activities, including journaling. The groups involved with gratefulness each day showed greater signs of improved heart health over the course of the research.
With the amazing potential of gratitude in mind, here are a few things (besides journaling) you can do to bring this attitude into your life.
Make Time for the Little Things
It’s hard to live a life of gratitude if you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses.
We’re all so busy in this modern world, that even when we’re doing the things that we enjoy, we don’t always remind ourselves to experience them fully, and immerse ourselves in the moment.
Think about the things in life that make you smile – the small things you do every day. For instance, you might start your morning with a cup of high-quality coffee. Coffee is an incredible addition to a self-care routine and gratitude-ready schedule. It’s good for your health, thanks to the antioxidants that come in freshly-ground beans, and it tastes wonderful too.
The trouble is that most of us drink it so quickly that we forget to take in the joy of the moment. If that sounds like you, the next time you’re doing something specifically for you, remember to actively engage in the moment. Explore each cup of coffee with your senses, from the taste to the smell, to the warmth of the cup against your fingers.
One of the reasons that people don’t like private journaling is that it feels like a waste of time and effort. Unless you carry your journal around with you all day, you can’t remind yourself of the little things that made you smile last week. However, if you take your journaling digital, you can have constant access to all your happy little thoughts.
Tweeting or posting your #Grateful thoughts can be a great way to share your journey of gratefulness with the people you care about. Just make sure that you’re using social media for the right reasons. The aim shouldn’t be to show people that you have an amazing life. Instead, your profile should be an authentic look into your efforts towards better self-care.
Don’t worry about whether people are going to respond to your posts, or “like” your comments. Just keep track of your happy thoughts any way that feels right to you. That might mean a streamed video, a text update, or a picture!
Take a Moment for Meditation
Meditation is a natural addition to any gratitude strategy. After all, what better way to remind yourself of all the wonderful things you’re grateful for than to sit for a moment and reflect on the day? According to a study from Harvard Medical School, meditation boosts your wellbeing, reduces your stress levels, and makes you a generally happier person.
Remember, you don’t have to sit with your legs crossed in the “om” pose to get the most out of meditation. It can be as simple as sitting in a comfy pose and focusing on your breathing for a while. Try not to let busy thoughts or worries get in the way of the process. Your thoughts will move through your mind, but your aim here is to focus on the happy ones. Let the positive feelings you’ve gathered throughout the day fill you up and energize you for the next day.
Talk to Someone!
Finally, while making gratitude part of your daily routine can often feel like an introspective event, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you might find that it’s much easier to get the most out of your wellness strategy when you’re discussing the things that went well through your day with someone else. You don’t need to get too in-depth with your reflections, just try and come up with three things every day that you want to tell someone about.
Taking this approach with your partner or friend can also help you to commit to a change in your wellness strategy. After all, if you and someone else are both reminding each other to take time for gratitude each day, you’ll be less likely to forget. These meaningful moments can even help to strengthen the bond you have with your gratitude partner.
Bio: Raj Jana is the CEO and founder of Java Presse, a socially-conscious coffee subscription company with a devotion to making life better for people, one day at a time. Raj believes in the importance of recognizing the little pleasures in life and tries to make time for gratitude every day.