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Four Fantastic Ways To Express Gratitude

ways to express gratitude

Losing sight of the important things in life is easily done — especially in the more difficult moments. Sometimes we forget to appreciate the good parts of our lives and the things that we are truly thankful for. This can often be because we live such busy lives with so many different things to stay on top of.

One of the best things that we can do in moments of overwhelm is to take a step back and reflect. This time can be used an an opportunity to become aware of how expressing gratitude can change our mindsets and our lives. It can remind us of the positive things that we have worked so hard for, and for all of the amazing things that we simply could not imagine life without.

When you stop to take this time to express gratitude, then you will naturally push negativity from your mind. You just won’t have space for any of the things that your brain wants to dwell on because you will be busy focusing on the good things instead!

Doing so will also show you that there is so much beauty in the small and simple parts of your life — the things that you have possibly begun to take for granted.

Why is it important to express gratitude?

Expressing gratitude for the things that you have can often be the last thing on your mind. However, there are so many great reasons to do so that it is well worth remembering to include each and every day!

The concept of gratitude is focused around acknowledging the positive aspects of your life – both those that other people provide and those that you create for yourself.

By making a mental note to be grateful every day, you will be opening your heart and your mind to truly appreciating the good things in your life. As well as these things, you should also make time to show gratitude for the important people who love and support you. This can take many forms. It could simply be thinking positive things about these people, telling them directly that you love and appreciate them or even with a kind gesture. This may seem like a strange idea to you at first and you may even be slightly embarrassed to express these feelings out loud to people. However, with practice it will soon feel completely natural.

As you continue to show your gratitude to those you care for, you will often notice that the dynamic of your relationship shifts. Your bond will become stronger and the other person will be more open with their own feelings towards you. This makes for a long-lasting and loyal friendship.

Can expressing gratitude boost your health?

As well as being great for your personal relationships there is actual scientific evidence that expressing gratitude is beneficial for health.

First of all it is a good way to ward of depression. This is because it encourages an optimistic outlook and provides the opportunity to focus on positive events and people. Secondly it is known to help combat anxiety because of the feelings of peacefulness that it promotes.

Research has shown that practicing gratitude is particularly useful to those who suffer from stress related problems and conditions such as PTSD. Finally, there is also research to suggest that it will mean good things for your sleep pattern. This is generally because of the improvement to your mood. A good night’s sleep plays an important part in your overall optimum health and should never be overlooked as an important part of your routine!

So, how can you get started with expressing gratitude, and how can you be sure to make it a regular part of your everyday life?

1. Start Small, Appreciate Everything

There is nothing too small to give thanks for! The home you wake up in every morning, the clothes you wear to keep you warm, and the food in your cupboards — these may all seem like normal things to you. However, these are not things that everyone is blessed to continuously and reliably have in their lives.

breakfast home gratitude

Really give yourself time to take stock of the things that you consider to be relatively small, and try to imagine how your life would be different if you didn’t always have them.

Once you have started to build up an appreciation for the simple things, you will begin to see the positivity in the smallest of actions and gestures — leading you to better appreciate those around you too!

2. Find Something Good In The Bad

It can be easy to dismiss every unpleasant experience as just that — something to be forgotten and to move on from. Although this can seem like the best thing to do when a bad situation has presented, there is also a lot to be gained from trying to process and take something positive.

Perhaps a relationship or friendship has come to an end and you are mourning the loss of this person in your life. Instead of being sad or angry that this has happened, try to understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the situation. Was this person really giving you the love and kindness that you deserve? Were they building you up with their actions or were they draining your emotional energy?

Although loss is difficult — especially the loss of a person we are used to having around — the end of this connection often happens for a reason that is ultimately positive.

Use this opportunity to better understand who you are without this person, and who you have become since knowing them. Express gratitude in your mind for the things that you are thankful to this person for, and then release the situation from your mind.

alone nature healing

This same thought process can be used for anything that has come to an end or changed in your life. All you have to do is reframe the situation to understand how your life has changed for the better and then give yourself permission to move on.

3. Use A Mindfulness Practice

Gratitude is something that you can express at any time and in a number of different forms. It can happen in spontaneous moments, but is also something you can deliberately carve out time for.

A mindfulness practice for gratitude can look like this:

  • Take a seat in a quiet and comfortable space with a pen and a piece of paper
  • Write a list of ten things that you are grateful for – yes I’m sure everyone has ten!!
  • If you find that you keep writing after ten then encourage that flow to continue
  • Read through your list and give yourself a few moments to concentrate on each item
  • Sit with these thoughts for a moment and let the gratitude wash over you

Do this at least once a week, and more often if you have the time. By purposefully creating situations where you are reminded of the wonderful things in your life, your default thought process will be more inclined to the positive.

4. Start A Gratitude Journal

Writing about your thoughts and your day to day experiences is something I believe there is so much value in.

Only when we genuinely take the time to reflect on the things we experience, and the lessons that we are continuously presented with, can we begin to make sense of our own lives. Keeping a journal gives us some additional time to reflect and process certain events that we may not have dealt with properly in the present moment that they happened.

conquer your goals inspiration

Use your journal as an opportunity to remind yourself of the things that you are grateful for. You can do this as a list or you can write in more detail. You can also use your journal to write letters to the people that you are grateful to. It is then up to you whether you share this with these people or not!

Gratitude will change your life

As you can see, the simple act of expressing gratitude can improve your life in several different but equally important ways. Start on your journey towards these things today by making a list of everything you are grateful for and then find productive ways to show this gratitude!

Get Inspired

Having additional support as you invite positive change into your life — such as adopting an ongoing gratitude practice — is a great way to stay on track.

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