If you are looking for a simple way to live a happier life, try being more grateful. There have been quite a few studies on gratitude lately, all concluding that gratitude can have beneficial effects on your overall happiness and wellbeing.
According to research, practicing gratitude can make you feel better about your life, more optimistic, and happier. Furthermore, expressing gratitude can improve your relationships. If you don’t know how to be more grateful in your day to day life, here are a few examples.
Express your gratitude to someone
A very simple gratitude exercise is to simply express your gratitude to someone else. We are quite used to saying thank you but it has become an automatic answer whenever someone does something for us. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are feeling grateful.
Think about a person that is important to you and tell them why you are grateful to have them in your life. You can do so in person or by writing a note or an email. It can be something simple like thanking them for their help in a certain situation or expressing your appreciation for their impact in your life.
Keep a gratitude journal
Gratitude doesn’t necessarily need to be directed at another person. One thing we are not used to doing is feeling grateful for the little things in life like being able to walk or having a roof over our heads. Thinking about these things will make you see the positive side of things and even when it feels like you have nothing to be grateful for, you will find something.
Keep a gratitude journal where every day you write down at least one thing you feel grateful for in your life. Some days it may seem easy, other days it will feel harder. Make sure to do it regularly.
Become more aware of your surroundings
Most of us live busy lives in chaotic cities, always on the run and trying to get everything done. We rarely stop to simply look around and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
Try to become more aware of your surroundings and of the little things you can feel grateful for. It can be a beautiful sunrise, a blue sky, or birds chirping in the morning. When you walk to work or to run your errands, look around you and become more present and aware. You may find things to be grateful for in unexpected places.
Create a gratitude jar
This is another exercise that can not only help you become more grateful but also to remind yourself of the thing you are grateful for that you may at times forget.
Grab a jar and decorate it if you wish, then write one to three things you are grateful for on pieces of paper and put them in the jar. Aim to write at least one note each day. Whenever you are feeling down or stressed out, go to the jar and pick a paper. Read it to remind yourself of a reason to feel grateful.