Gratitude is hands down one of the most important habits to develop if you want to radically increase the level of happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction that you feel for your life.
But, often, we know that taking time to feel grateful is important, but we forget to actually do it.
Or, we rush through the practice, and don’t get the full benefit from it.
So, take a few minutes, right now, to ask yourself a simple but essential question: What are you grateful for today?
Leave a comment below with your answer, but if you’re feeling stuck, I’m going to share a few ideas and tips to get you started.
10 Things To Be Grateful For Anytime, Anywhere
Everyone has days when they feel down. It’s 100% normal. The question is: when you recognize you need to step back and take a few moments to re-center, what do you do?
These 10 things are simple, everyday ideas that I think anyone can use to find a feeling of gratitude, in just a few minutes.
- Your breath. This is #1 on the list for a reason. Focusing on your breath is one of the fastest and easiest ways to calm your mind, and bring your attention back to the well-being that is always emanating from within you.
- Fresh air: Not only do you have the ability to breathe fully, but the air you take in is clean and nourishing. Take time to appreciate that today.
- Your Body. No matter what the state of your physical health, you can always choose to become more mindful of your body, and feel more present in your physical form. This helps to revitalize and energize you.
- Healthy Food. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not dying of hunger. We often forget to appreciate how abundant simple things (like good food) are in our modern world.
- Clean Water. Similar to the food you eat, we often take the availability of wate for granted. Take a few seconds to appreciate just how easily you can run the tap and have a clean drink.
- Smiling. Take a few seconds, right now, to bring your attention to the set of your face. Allow your lips to widen into a smile, and just observe and revel in how soft and effortless it makes you feel. Smiling has incredible benefits for both the mind and body.
- Friends and Family. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in drama with our loved ones, that we forget to acknowledge the many reasons they are important to us, and the role they play in our life. Use your gratitude journal to write about your friends and family, or – better yet – write someone a note to tell them their best traits.
- A Tree or Flower. One of my favorite sources of gratitude is nature, and nothing beats taking a few moments to sit outside in a quiet setting, but even if you can’t rush off to a park, you can always find a tree or flower to gaze at for a few moments, and soak in the natural beauty of it.
- Your Thoughts. Another untapped source of gratitude is our thoughts. The presence of our thoughts is constant, and so easy to cast blame on as the source of our problems. Instead, flip your perspective, and learn to thank yourself for your thoughts…whatever they may be.
- A Hobby, Interest, or Passion. Lastly, I like to use personal interests as an easy gateway to feeling grateful. Hobbies or passions are perfect for this practice, because we usually associate them with being fun, and don’t tie-in as much emotional baggage to them. Simply acknowledge what you like to do, and why you like it.
How To Practice Gratitude
If you need help getting started with your gratitude practice, I recommend the following:
- Try these easy gratitude exercises.
- Read more about why gratitude is important from author Shawn Achor.
- Watch this video. It’s the first part of our Positive Thinking Playbook, and a great introduction to the how and why of positive thinking practices.