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How to Practice Gratitude

In the past, I have written about how important Gratitude is in living a good life (go here to read it.) Here are a few more specific ideas to help you become better at practicing Gratitude.

  • Intentionally choose it. Gratitude will never be a result of your next purchase, success, or accomplishment. It is available in your heart right now.

  • Count your blessings: a new day, a warm bed, a loving spouse, a child in your life, a unique personality, or a special talent… This practice alone has the potential to change your heart and life immeasurably.

  • Keep a gratitude journal – set aside time a few days each week to write down (actually write) things that you are grateful for.

  • Stop focusing on what you don’t have. Throw away catalogs and advertisements that inevitably promise you more fulfillment and joy in life. Those things are not sold in stores—they never have been and never will be.

  • Find Gratitude in the people or things you take for granted. And express it.

  • Find Gratitude in everything – in the difficulties you have faced and the challenges you went through that made you stronger - death, disease, rejection, or failure. Good can always be found even in the worst of times.

  • Stop. Look. Appreciate. Add a daily appointment to your calendar to take a “Gratitude Break.”

  • Embrace humility. Humility is an essential ingredient in gratitude. A humble heart finds satisfaction in the gifts it already possesses and demands less from others and life.

  • Open your eyes (and hearts) to those with less. Almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. 1.1 billion people have inadequate access to clean water. Realize this and slowly allow gratitude and a desire to become part of the solution to take their place.

  • Recruit a buddy to help you out. Enlist a friend or family member and encourage one another. Perhaps you text each other daily “I am grateful for” thoughts.

  • Create more opportunities for gratefulness. Volunteer for a charity. Go for more walks. Get out in nature. Shop the farmers’ market.

  • Stop and reframe. Instead of saying “I’m tired of all the work around the house,” reframe that thought into, “I’m thankful for having a home.”

  • Pass it on! Gratitude is contagious - find opportunities to express gratitude in small ways to workers, friends, or family.

  • Commit to a 30-day Gratitude Challenge – where you actively practice gratitude every day.

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