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Implementing a gratitude practice into your life can be a game changer. It can boost your mental health, have positive effects on your relationships and you will notice more of the good things that happen in your day. Gratitude also will have a positive effect on your self-esteem and confidence, as when we make others feel good, it in turn makes ourselves feel good.
Gaining this ability to have gratitude just takes practice like most of the skills we learn, this one is no different. The more you complete your gratitude steps the better results you get because you are more consistent and the easier it is to continue.
You may be asking yourself right about now, how do I start to practice this? It’s simple, really, let me show you..
- Your Five Minute Moment – Take just five minutes out of your day to reflect on what has happened and try to think about at least one time in the day where something good happened.
Even if you had a stressful day, think and reflect, this moment can be when your bus driver saw you running for that bus but waited for you. Or when your friend made you that coffee on their lunch break to help save you time. It is personal to you, which is why this is your Five Minute Moment. You can also write this down in a journal format if this is more helpful to you.
- Tune Into You – This is your time to get out a note book and write down your daily feelings, pick an emotion that you felt in your day and write for a few minutes about what happened and why you felt that way. Acknowledging your own emotions and working through them will help you to understand others better and be more in tune with others around you.
Personally I use this note book below; it is A5 size from Amazon UK, Lined Pages. I love it because it’s small enough that I can pop it in my bag and have on the go. This note book is only £6.53, which just proves that you do not need to spend heaps on a journal. BY all means, spend what you wish to as you will be the one writing in it everyday, all I am stating is that it is not essential to spend a lot on a journal.
- Say “Thank You” – This sounds easy enough but do not be surprised if you find this difficult. If you feel confident to talk to people that you do not know normally then aim to say, out loud, “thank you” to at least 5 people during the day, when it was needed. If you do not feel confident to do this, then start by saying “thank you” to 5 people that you already know. Make sure what you are saying makes sense and not just to tick this point off.
- Smile More – Just smiling at someone can make a huge difference. Not just to their day but to your own wellbeing. Smiling, even ‘fake’ smiling causes the same chemical reaction in your brain. Obviously, it being genuine or even turning into laugher creates a much better reaction. Try it now, and notice how much better you feel afterwards.
- Work These Muscles – Just like starting a new workout routine and building your body muscles, training your mind to use gratitude techniques will take time. Do not get discouraged if you forget a step but try your best to do each step each day.
Make a conscious decision each day to incorporate more gratitude techniques into your day and then over time you will see the benefits that it brings.
Once you have worked on these steps above for some time, try adapting or adding on these ones below:
- During your normal day try to consciously observe yourself when speaking to others. Do you show your appreciation for what others do for you? Do you say thank you to them? Try counting how many times you say it, are you saying it out of curtesy or was it an after thought?
This will support yourself to think and feel more deeply about what you are saying and why you are saying it. This step is important to help you develop a deeper understanding of gratitude.
- Be Specific: Make sure you are being more specific with the types of gratitude you express. It is very easy to just say ‘thank you’. There is no harm in this but you know that you can put in that little extra effort and say exactly why you are thankful. Did that person help you in some way?
Try this now, Look back at your day today. What happened? Did something happen that you can be grateful for? Did a friend/colleague/ loved one help you in some way? Tell them why you appreciate them or why their advice helped you.
Doing these steps every day will support you in becoming a more reflective and grateful person.
For more information on Gratitude please feel free to contact me here.