Adapted from WellConnect Student Newsletter
Practicing Gratitude in Everyday Life
Many people live with a mindset of always wanting something more, whether a better grade in a class, a higher-paying job, different relationships or material objects. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and can change your life for the better. There are numerous benefits to practicing a life of gratitude, such as improving your mental and physical health, coping skills, happiness, relationships, and sleep, as well as reducing anxiety and depression.
Here are some tips for cultivating your practice of gratitude:
Practice mindfulness. Whenever you notice your thoughts shifting to the past or worrying about the future, this is a reminder to refocus on the present moment. Be grateful for things just as they are—right now.
Turn off autopilot. Often your brain might run on autopilot. You are going through the motions and might miss what’s right in front of you. Make an effort to be more deliberate and notice the details.
Count your blessings. Be grateful for the big and small things in life. Focus on all that you have versus what you feel your life is lacking.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Rather than striving for perfection, do your best with what you have. Even though someone else might seem to have it easier than you in one aspect of life, they likely have other struggles that you don’t know about.
Be grateful for yourself. Remember that you are worthy and your contribution to the world matters. Choose one challenge you overcame during your day and cheer yourself on for success.
Share your gratitude. Realize when people are doing a great job or going out of their way to help you. Let people know when you appreciate them.
Spread positivity. Make an effort to be kind when interacting with others, whether loved ones or strangers. When you approach situations with positivity, notice how people tend to reciprocate. Small gestures like texting someone on their birthday or giving a sincere compliment can go a long way.
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