I wanted to give you some ideas to practice ways to develop a lifestyle of gratitude. I really value gratitude, and as an extension, appreciation, value and general respect for the awesomeness for the imperfections of life and those within it. I have recognized the power of gratitude to improve our relationships with others, and develop a stronger positive sense of self. Developing a healthy mindset is difficult without being able to acknowledge and embrace the goodness within one's life. A spirit of gratitude weaves self-compassion, appreciation for life, and acceptance for our daily roller coaster together in a nice cloth that we can wear proudly.
Some practical strategies I use to show gratitude are the following:
- Intentionally, purposefully say "Thank you" for the little things to show a level of appreciation for someone's efforts. Yes, we say thank you without thinking most times, but to honest, many rarely say "thank you" due to entitlement or even resentment for life. Either way, the phrase "thank you" is a verbal affirmation of someone's existence within our life, even if the time crossed was fleeting. Meaningfully stated, "thank you" breathes purpose and value into someone.
- Smile at a stranger to give them optimism, hope and acknowledgement. We never know the struggles someone is going through. They may be a step away from jumping off a cliff, and are just waiting for their presence to be acknowledged. They may feel no ones cares about them or even sees their existence. A smile is a non-verbal affirmation of the positive presence of someone, and an intimate human connection that is contagious and life giving.
- Choosing at least one day to actually go to bed "on time" or "early". Even though life comes with much stress and a packed schedule, your sleep is the most important thing your body, especially your brain, needs to rejuvenate and create balance. Use sleep as an illustration of gratitude to your body for how hard it works daily to allow you to not only survive, but thrive.
- Have a dance party by yourself or with a friend randomly because you deserve to put aside all the stress and to dos, and focus on the now. Loosen up, and be carefree for a couple of minutes. Tell yourself that you deserve it, you have worked too hard! Give yourself those moments of self-compassion.
- Eat dinner as a family. Show the people in your life that you value their time, their mind, and their presence in your life. Show them that you want to know more about them, and are generally interested in their daily lives, placing no greater importance on your own.
- Give a compliment today to someone unknowing because we all need affirmation that we are doing something right. Self-doubt spreads into each of our lives, no one is exempt. Accept a compliment without denying, or brushing it off. You deserve it!
. Giving and receiving compliments affirm to ourselves and others that we have some goodness in us too that can appreciated and valued by someone else.