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Practicing Everyday Gratitude

November 28, 2013

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Today is Thanksgiving, a day where many of us are reminded of what we have to be thankful for. Whether it is the food in front of you, the people around you, or the day you have off to enjoy it all, we find ourselves hyper-aware of the many blessings we have this time of year.

 But what if we could cultivate that attitude of gratitude year-round?

Showing gratitude to those around you brightens their day and shows them respect as another human being. But the benefits of gratitude don’t stop with other people; they may also help you. Studies have shown that gratitude and grateful thinking is associated with higher energy levels and increased feelings of optimism and empathy for those who practice it. So how can you start?

Self-Gratitude

There are many ways to show gratitude, but cultivating it originates within you. You can start showing yourself gratitude by thinking of a compliment to yourself each day. Did you get up and go running before work? Compliment yourself for being motivated enough to get out of your warm bed. Did you finish up a major project at work or school? Compliment yourself for seeing it through from start to finish. By creating this daily ego boost, you will become more self-aware of the gifts you bring to the universe, and can serve as an example towards others.

Gratitude Towards Loved Ones

Often times, everyday stresses can cause interactions with the ones closest to us to become routine and hurried, leaving us with no time to say “thank you.” Why not let those who are close to you know that you appreciate what they bring to your life? Telling them, “You make the world a better place” can serve as an uplifting affirmation that you appreciate their presence in the world and in your life. Simply saying “thank you” for a small, mundane task that is often unnoticed will do the same. 

Gratitude Towards the Universe

Life can be tough – that’s something we all know. But more often than not, we can learn from the rough spots, becoming a stronger and more understanding human being. Even if it’s hard to do so, make sure to say “thank you,” even for these negative parts of life; they are all a part of your journey. You can also cultivate gratitude towards the universe by smiling and meaning it. One of the most contagious things in the world is a smile, and by smiling outwardly, you will encourage others to do so, as well.

 

How do you practice an attitude of gratitude?