A simple, but great habit to get into, Practicing Gratitude is about much more than saying please and thank you. It is a much more inward practice, which helps you to boost mental health and be more ready to accept change, while giving you a much more positive outlook on life. Sound like something you need? It sounds like something we all need!
The first step to practicing gratitude is noticing. Notice how your friend held the door open for you. Notice how the birthday card you received has your favourite colour on it. Notice how your parents bought you a packet of cookies when they went shopping as a treat. You’ll start to see just how much goes into these small acts.
Once you’re paying more attention to the love that people are showing you, you can begin to think about why. What drove that person to give you a gift, or do something nice for you, or help you out? Realising just how much people around you do for you and how they show their love can make you feel much more loved. We all want to feel loved, don’t we?
How does it make you feel to receive a gift, or for someone you love to do something nice? How does it feel when a stranger does something kind for you? It’s important that you recognise the feeling it gives you and give it a name; happy, excited, appreciated, delighted.
Finally, how are you going to show how you feel? This is the actual ‘gratitude’ part. There are lots of ways to show your gratefulness. You could return the gesture, by getting them a gift in return, or writing a thank you note. Not only are you affecting your mental health for the better, but when we thank others and mean it, their mood improves too! Being thankful for someone’s small acts throughout the day will help to improve your relationship and enhance both of your moods.
Top tip: practicing gratitude out loud or giving it a physical form, like a thank you note or a diary, will help you much more than just saying it in your head. When we can see and hear things, we believe them a lot more.
Think about ways you can start to practice gratitude and give it a go; see how your mood improves!