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Life can be tough sometimes, but I'll tell you from experience that there are ways to make life easier and less stressful… even during one of those times.
I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for quite some time, which encourages me to focus on the things that I'm grateful for on a daily basis… regardless of how small. This simple process has enabled me to enjoy a happier, more fulfilled life.
Showing gratitude does not work miracles, but it does help you to focus on the positive things in life instead of dwelling on the negative things that you can't change. You wouldn't believe how powerful showing gratitude on a regular basis can be!
Just know that the art of showing gratitude takes time. You can't focus on it one day and expect to completely transform your entire life overnight. The effect of showing gratitude is cumulative.
By focusing on gratitude on a daily basis, whether you opt for keeping a journal or simply taking a few moments every day to verbally state the things that you're grateful for, can also help you feel more relaxed throughout the day. And even at night. You will also likely feel calmer in general.
Showing gratitude is also a great way for you to reevaluate your life and prioritize the things that are most important and stop focusing on things that you can't control… or that aren't worth worrying about.
6 Ways to Practice Gratitude
1. Keep a daily gratitude journal.
Keeping a journal of daily entries may sound like another task to keep up with, but it shouldn't be considered a task. Not only can keeping a gratitude journal be therapeutic, but it can help you change your life in a positive way without being difficult or tedious. All you have to do is create a brief entry each day and you're done! Just make sure that your entries are meaningful and true so that journaling will be more effective for you.
While there are many gratitude journal apps available for your smart device, scientists have proven that keeping such a journal is more effective if you actually write in it each day… as opposed to doing so electronically. The brain processes the act of writing in a journal more effectively than keeping one electronically, according to research. But if your best option is an electronic journal, then go for it! It will still work in the long run.
To get started the old fashioned way, simply choose a notebook or purchase an official gratitude journal and start creating entries regularly. Preferably daily. If you miss an occasional day, that's fine… but try to stick with it as much as possible in order for it to be effective.
2. Show gratitude towards others.
It's not difficult to show gratitude towards others, especially when they do something that you are appreciative for. For instance, if you work in an office and notice the front desk receptionist works very hard, completing many tasks with a smile on her face, you should show gratitude towards her.
This could be done by simply approaching her when she has free moment to say, “I just wanted you to know that I notice how hard you work on a daily basis and that you're very much appreciated. Thank you so much for doing a great job and doing so much to help us all.”
Or if you prefer action over words… you could buy her a single flower, card or other small gift with a note attached that states how grateful you are. Either way you go, she is likely to be very appreciative… which will improve levels of happiness and positivity in both of you.
3. Create a daily gratitude mantra.
A mantra is a positive saying that you may have heard or read somewhere, or you may have even made it up. Mantras are spoken aloud with emotion. The more you recite your mantra, the more it can improve your mood and overall level of positivity. For example, the mantra you choose to say every day for a week may be, “I love my life and I love my job. Nothing will ever keep me from being happy.” Your mantra will be what you make it, so make it something that makes you feel good and change it as often as you desire.
4. Read gratitude quotes.
Even if you dislike reading, there are numerous gratitude quotes available online or in books to inspire you on a daily basis. These quotes are generally short and can really move you to start your day off on a positive note. Try and read them every morning for your best chance at experiencing greater levels of happiness and positivity throughout the entire day. Thing will seem much easier and less intense when moments of negativity and depression try and creep in.
5. Perform daily gratitude meditations.
Meditating is a great way to bring balance and calm into your life. Most people believe that they must sit in a room in the dark, staring at nothing in order to meditate. While Buddhist monks are able to meditate in this manner, a beginner is often unable to.
Thankfully, it's not necessary to meditate in such a manner for it to be effective and there are many guided, gratitude-themed meditations that you can either purchase or listen to for free. Performing these meditations on a daily basis can work wonders for improving your life. You will also find that you handle stressful situations with greater ease once you are able to “re-train” your brain in how it reacts to stress.
6. Subscribe to a daily gratitude message.
If you search the internet for “daily gratitude messages”, you will find that you can subscribe to any number of websites that will send a gratitude message directly to your every day. This can be via email, text or even a push notification to your cell phone. Regardless of how you choose to receive the message, it will remind you to focus on gratitude each day and inspire you. You might even opt to make the daily gratitude message your mantra for the day.
27 Gratitude Examples to Inspire
You should focus on being grateful for the things that many people take for granted. Here are 27 gratitude examples to focus on when making journal entries, creating mantras and more. Focusing on what you're grateful for is a great way to practice showing gratitude on a daily basis.
If you stick with it, you will see that making these small tweaks to your daily routine will eventually produce some major changes that can transform your life from one without hope… to one that is full of hope.
- “I have a roof over my head and I'm not forced to sleep outdoors.”
- “I have a job that pays me regularly.”
- “I have children whom I love.”
- “I have my health.”
- “I have beautiful flowers in my backyard that I grew myself.”
- “I have clothes to cover my body.”
- “I have transportation to get where I need to go.”
- “I have a partner whom I love very much.”
- “I have supportive parents who are always there.”
- “I have good food to nourish my body.”
- “I have water to quench my thirst.”
- “I have enjoyable music to listen to.”
- “I have the ability to walk.”
- “I have the ability to speak.”
- “I woke up this morning.”
- “I woke up feeling refreshed, after having had a good night's sleep.”
- “I have people in my life who care about me.”
- “I have the ability to read.”
- “I have talents.”
- “I have friends.”
- “I have health insurance and the ability to see a doctor when I need to.”
- “I take vacations.”
- “I can think clearly and creatively.”
- “I have access to fun entertainment.”
- “I learn daily.”
- “I have access to a warm bath or shower.”
- “I take scenic walks.”
These are merely a few of many gratitude examples that we all take for granted at times. If you live in a small, cramped apartment with no room to hang your clothes properly, at least you have a home at all.
If all your clothes come from second-hand stores, at least you have clothes to cover your body.
If you have a car that has a loud muffler, peeling paint and other cosmetic imperfections, at least you aren't forced to walk, bike or catch a bus in inclement weather.
You should make a vow to never take anything for granted again, regardless of how trivial it may appear. Once you make this vow, I promise you will be one step closer to greater happiness.
Final Thoughts on Gratitude Examples
The first step in finding true happiness and purpose in life is to reflect on what’s most important to you and all that you are grateful for.
As dark as things may seem sometimes, there is always something you can be grateful for.
The gratitude examples I’ve provided here are a good place to start if you’re looking to light a fire beneath you on your journey towards genuine happiness. You can incorporate the ones that speak to you into your life on a daily basis… as well as draw inspiration to come up with your own gratitude examples.
The more you practice showing gratitude in your own life, as well as those around you, the more positivity will engulf your life. Good things will happen if you’re willing to let them in. If you're interested in learning even more about enhancing the gratitude in your life, then check out our article on things to be thankful for. And feel free to add some of your own gratitude examples in our comment section at the end of this article!