Celebrating and expressing gratitude sometimes or on certain days like Thanksgiving indeed feels good. But if we practice gratitude on a daily basis, it has the potential to increase life satisfaction and feelings of happiness and decrease symptoms of depression. It has been proven by many studies. But to make this a routine, we have to practice gratitude.
Cultivate Thankfulness With These Practices
You don’t need to dine turkey every day to feel gratitude. It is all about cultivating thankfulness and gratitude and simple and routine activities of everyday life.
Like mastering any other activity, it takes time to realize the full potential of thankfulness. For this, there are a number of practices you can begin.
Very often, we express gratitude for materialistic things, like expensive clothes or cars. Being thankful for these items is not a bad thing but materialism leads to diminished gratitude and lower life satisfaction.
Hence, it becomes important to start feeling gratitude for your five senses. Start with sight. Take a paper and write about the things you are grateful for that you got to see. It can be about sunset or your own reflection, or like seeing something that saved your or someone’s life.
Repeat the same with the other four senses. Every day write three things you are grateful for about your senses. Write down your gratitude for the sense of taste and every delicious thing you tasted. Think about every beautiful music or voice you heard because of your hearing sense. Think about all the touches that make you feel good.
Try cultivating thankfulness with your breaths. Take 10 breaths and with each, remember that these breaths are necessary for your life.
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and your feet on the ground. Move your hands to your lap. Start breathing in and out and deepen and lengthen your breath. Think about what a miracle it is that this keeps your body alive.
For your next step, think of a color that you associate with being thankful and let it fill your mind. As you inhale and exhale, focus on that color. Repeat this for 10 breaths. Think about all the things you are grateful for about the day.
A lot of times life is challenging, and things turn out differently than we expected. All of us experience suffering and adversity at one point in our life. But we always find a reason to be grateful for. We make our pain purposeful.
For this practice of gratitude, think about a time of your life that was tragic. Think about that mistake or failure. no think about three things that kept you going, and you made it out. Express gratefulness for those things inside yourself.
All of us have people in our life that we truly appreciate. This practice is about writing them a handwritten letter or a note, appreciating them for their presence in your life. This will also boost their mood along with yours. After all, everyone likes to be appreciated.
Writing down good things will affect you positively, it will increase gratitude and thankfulness inside you, you will perceive greater satisfaction and fewer depressive episodes, studies have proven.
Every day is filled with opportunities that we often overlook. A great way of cultivating thankfulness is to notice the small things. For this practice, acknowledge something verbally that you are grateful for. Thank your maid for making a task easy or your friend for helping you out. Express thankfulness to the delivery guy who brought your package so that you did not have to go there.
These practices take time. You can set a reminder to practice daily. Practice it for some weeks and you will start noticing a positive shift in your life.