Practicing gratitude is a key ingredient to becoming happier in life. Whenever I start feeling down I try to focus on what I am thankful for: it can be something big as being part of a big beautiful loving family or something relatively small as able to drink water without pain (think about that).
In this Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some tips in how to make this activity a part of your daily life if it isn’t already (I am working on it being part of my daily life but it’s not there yet. I am writing this in the hope it will stick.) =)
How to practice gratitude
I’m no expert but I’ve been collecting ideas on how to best practice gratitude and have started to use them. Here is a quick bullet list that I hope is helpful:
- Small diary entries. Keep a small journal and everyday before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing in list form three things you’re happy for throughout the day.
- Say thank you. When someone hands you a glass of water, or when they help you when in a time in need, say thank you.
- Give thanks. Make it a habit to call someone you appreciate once a week, a month, or even a day. Think of someone that deserves a call and say thank you, for being your friend, for giving advice, for listening.
- Gratitude jar. A friend of mine shared with me an awesome idea I haven’t implemented yet but want to. Get a jar, post it notes, and a pen – whenever you want to say thank you to your significant other, other family members, or friends in your household, write a note and put it in the jar. At the end of the year (or month), sit down together and read out the notes together.
I’m thankful for ….
- Flexibility. Happygal and I have moved too many times since we met 13 years ago (on average we live in a new place once every year and a half). It might be a disease but I am thankful that we do it without the stress of change and have no attachment issues. This helps with our nomad life we hope to lead one day.
- Sore legs. I’ve been packing boxes these past few days and carrying boxes from upstairs to downstairs – I went up/down the stairs at least 100 times each day. In addition I was able to play soccer and now my legs are so sore. I’m thankful for having legs that can be sore.
- Morning walk and fall colors. Today in the morning we did a morning walk around the neighborhood and was overjoyed by the smiles in the faces of my kids, the wonderful natural colors of the trees, and for the lovely strong woman walking by my side.
- Stubborn kids. I’ve been trying to write this post the whole day and as soon as I’m able to sit down in front of computer I get interrupted by stubborn kids. They say that stubborn kids are more likely to be economically successful … so I guess that’s good? I rather them be happy but I’m just thankful to have them in my life along with my beautiful wife. To have a loving family that needs me and want to spend time with me is a great joy. I love them deeply and it’s time I go hangout with them!