“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
—Brother David Steindl-Rast
Maybe the simplest and most effective habit for living a happier life is to take a few minutes every day to focus on what it is that you can be grateful for in your life.
Behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. It can help to…..
- Lift your mood, make you happier
- Improve resilience
- Strengthen relationships
- Improve health
- Reduce stress
- Find joy even during tough times.
Here are three practices that you can try to cultivate the powerful habit of gratitude:
1. Make it a part of your morning routine. Before checking emails or text messages, make yourself a cup of coffee, find a cozy spot to sit down and take 1 minute to name 10 things (small or significant) that you are grateful for in your life. I do this every morning and I simply count on my fingers! Another wonderful way to start the day is a morning Meditation On Gratitude
2. Keep a a gratitude journal. Take a few minutes each evening to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for about your day, about yourself or about your life. Keep your gratitude journal by your nightstand so you will see it before going to sleep and remember to jot down what you are thankful for. Your gratitude journal doesn’t have to be deep or elaborately written. What you are thankful for can be as simple as “family” or “my home” or “lunch with a friend”
4. Express it to someone in person. Tell someone tonight. Send a card or an email to someone who lives far away from you. You can even send a quick text to someone right now. “I am grateful for you.” Expressing your gratitude, no matter how simple, can have a big impact on someone’s day, or even life.
Try one of these simple exercises every day for a week and see how it impacts your life!