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4 Practical Ways To Practice Gratitude Everyday

Written by: Terrie Nathan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

With November being National Gratitude Month it’s a perfect time to remind ourselves of how we can get in the habit of daily gratitude practice. We have read it over and over again in positive psychology research, from Martin Seligman to Shawn Achor: If there is a one-word answer to the secret of happiness, it is gratitude.

Gratitude may just be the strongest tool when it comes to pulling ourselves and others out of a funk or rebooting a blue mood.


Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us. Research has shown that exercising gratitude regularly can enhance our moods, strengthen social bonds, lower stress, lower anxiety, and improve overall wellness. Gratitude is a virtue that can help you get through even the toughest of times.


It's not just on Thanksgiving, at Christmas, or when you pass your exams. It's a mindset—a way of being that you can practice every single day, no matter what life throws at you. At times it feels like more of a New Year’s resolution than an actual practice. Why? Because you can't just turn on and off being grateful—it's not like gratitude is something you can just flip on for the holidays and then forget about until next year. It’s part of how you show up, how you move…it’s a daily practice.


There will be times when everything seems to be going wrong. You're getting a cold, your kid is sick, you didn't get the promotion you were hoping for, and you have a pile of bills that's threatening to take over your kitchen table.


It can be easy to get into a rut and get in the habit of focusing on what's wrong vs what’s strong in our lives. But being thankful all year long means remembering when things are going well and being grateful for those moments.


You just need to change your perspective. The world is full of good things: friends and family who love you, sunshine on your face when you go outside, the smell of freshly baked bread, or even just a cup of coffee in the morning. And those things give us strength and courage to keep going even when things aren't perfect. So how do I practice gratitude every day, even if my life isn't always easy?


Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Start with the small stuff. It's easy to be grateful when someone does something nice for you or gives you something nice, but what about the little things that happen every day? When you wake up in the morning, think about how grateful you are for having a roof over your head. When you get ready for work, think about how grateful you are that there's work available in your field and that people are willing to pay money for your services. Think about everything around you—not just material things but also experiences like eating delicious food or going on vacation, or even spending time with friends—and count your blessings! Think about what you're grateful for right now.

  2. Make a list of things you're grateful for each day. It can be something as simple as having enough food to eat or something as important as having someone who loves you unconditionally. The point is that no matter how bad things are going at any given moment in time, there are always things to be grateful for—and if we don't remind ourselves of that fact every day, then we'll forget!

  3. Keep an "I'm thankful for…" journal handy at all times so that whenever you feel like beating yourself up about something, just take out your journal and write down one thing that you can be grateful for and it will help get you back on track again!

  4. Being mindful of the things we have in common with others, and focusing on those instead of our differences. This is a powerful way to connect with someone different from you, but also strengthens your relationships with people who share your interests, backgrounds, or beliefs. Gratitude is about looking for things you already have in common with someone else and being grateful for them.


You might be thinking "I'm just not a grateful person." But the truth is, we all have reasons to be thankful. It’s a daily practice that over time becomes a positive habit. Remember that everything changes. When things get tough, remember that they won't always be this way—and they won't always stay this way either! Perspective! Gratitude is an essential element to staying happy and Healthy. Give it a try! What are you grateful for right now in this moment?


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Terrie Nathan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Terrie Nathan is an International Best-selling Author, Coach, Speaker, and CEO/Founder of Strong Girl Enterprises. She coaches clients to improve their lives, relationships, and ability to perform in business by setting & achieving goals and building positive routines. She also coaches youth to build their confidence by teaching them strategies on positive self-talk, self-worth, and body image.


Her practice is grounded in Positive Psychology, a research-based branch of psychology that studies what really causes people to thrive and flourish in their lives and work and how we can apply those findings in practical and positive ways.


Terrie has now made it her life's mission to coach these transformational strategies of empowerment by partnering with clients and organizations worldwide.

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