Goodness Gracious! Increase Your Gratitude with These Four Ideas

Goodness Gracious! Increase Your Gratitude with These Four Ideas

Goodness Gracious! Increase Your Gratitude with These Four Ideas

Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a mom, the thought of my child being ill, or someone I love being the victim of a violent crime seems like more than I could possibly handle. People who have so little and yet are so grateful... how do they do it? Do you have a gracious heart when you are having the WORST. DAY. EVER?

Science tells us that it's worth the effort to try to increase our gratitude skills, but we know it isn't easy. Here are four strategies to help increase your gratitude:

  1. List three things: Each day, write down three things for which you are grateful. A hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter morning. The sound of your toddler pitter-pattering down the hallway. Getting a big hug at the end of a tough day. Your health. Little or big, noticing things that you are grateful for will help to increase your gratitude for the things we so often take for granted, and that is not only the basis of being grateful, it’s also mindfulness!
  2. Don’t Know What You’ve Got… Imagine life without someone or something important to you. How would your it be different? Or, how your life would have turned out if you hadn’t taken that one job or adopted your current fur-kid.
  3. Savor the Flavor. Does your favorite candy taste better with the first piece or the last? The first bite is always the best, so why keep going? Try truly enjoying the flavor, smell, feel of the candy with the first piece. These mindfulness exercises make you appreciate everything more rather than going through life on autopilot.
  4. Write a thank you note. A hand-written note is unexpected and appreciated in these days of quick texts and emails. Has someone gone out of their way to help you with a project? Or maybe you would just like to thank your parents or other important people for their support. The sender and the recipient benefits from this task, so it's worth the effort. If you really want to make a point, hand deliver your note.

Gratitude is a skill and skills can be learned. How often does something increase your happiness and your healthiness? Grab your journal and start your list today.

You'll be glad you did!

Originally published January 12, 2016