This is a topic I have written about before and something that I am constantly trying to maintain within my day to day life. Gratitude doesn’t always come as naturally as it should and it is especially difficult to achieve during times of strife or struggle. 2020 has been a testing year to say the least therefore it has probably not contained as much gratitude as it should. I have found myself focused on the way the world has changed. All the anxieties and worries of the past few months mixed with the uncertainty of the future has given me a somewhat pesmisitic outlook. I have to remind myself often to focus on the abundance of things I have to be grateful for.
In order to maintain a positive mindset we have to practice gratitude in our lives often. The benefits of this are scientifically proven and affect everything from your relationships to stress levels, motivation and focus, even the quality of your sleep.
Below are some tips to help if you’re struggling to keep optimistic, positive and grateful during the current climate.
THREE GOOD THINGS
This is something I do everyday. I journal these notes but it doesn’t have to be written down, perhaps you could simply ask yourselves these questions before you go to bed each night. Despite what has happened during the day, ending it with these positive thoughts can change the entire mindset. These never have to be life affirming moments, they can be simple or small depending on you. Perhaps you received a smile from a stranger just when you needed it? Maybe you felt the warmth of the sun for the first time in a few days? Perhaps you saw an old friend? Make a note of these moments.
- What is good in my life today?
- Who am I grateful for today?
- What has gone well today?
TAKE A BREATH BEFORE COMPLAINING
Any time you are getting ready to complain about something first think of one good thing that has gone on in your life, this lets you balance negativity bias with one that intentionally notices the positive.
MEDITATE ON IT
This is not for everyone but before you disregard it completely, read on. Meditation doesn’t have to be hanging out in an incense filled tent in the Himalayas, you can do this from your home. It doesn’t have to take hours out of your day, It may only be a couple of moments of stillness. Just a short period of meditation each day can decrease stress, improve concentration, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. In turn allowing you to feel more positive and grateful.
The app Calm has a series of good mediations on gratitude you might like to try.
I bloody love this concept. Have a little jar somewhere in your home and whenever you feel grateful for something, jot it down along with the date and pop it in your jar. When it is full, you can make an occasion of opening it, either alone or with loved ones. This is absolutely guaranted to make you smile.
WRITE A LETTER
A study done in the journal of writing showed that expressing gratitude through writing a letter increases happiness levels in a way that feeling thankful but not communicating doesn’t. Writing a letter to someone you are grateful for is exceptionally cathartic. It is also a beautiful thing for the person on the receiving end.