3 Easy Ways to Infuse Gratitude Into Everyday Life
Hello, friends. Somehow, we’ve already made it through January and onto the second month of the year. You might be feeling a lot of negativity around you or maybe you’re the one feeling down because you’re not seeing the type of progress that you wanted in the new year. Either way, I’ve found gratitude to be one of the greatest tools to push myself in the right direction and to feel better about my situation.
I’ve included 3 of my favorite gratitude practices below:
5 Minute Journal: If you are someone who needs structure and and systems then I would highly recommend the 5 minute journal. It just takes about 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening to complete the questions. They also have an app as well if you are someone who prefers electronic journaling. Some of the questions include: ‘I am grateful for….’ and ‘3 amazing things that happened today….’ However, if you want something that’s free and don’t require as much structure then try out some of the other tips below.
3 Gratitudes: This one is similar to the 5 minute journal. You simply get out a piece of paper or a journal and before you go to bed each evening, write down 3 things that you are grateful for. It’s often most beneficial if you incorporate a variety of areas. For example, you might write down a person who you are grateful for, an event that you are grateful for, and then maybe include something more esoteric such as, the moon or beautiful weather.
Loving Kindness: I first heard about ‘Loving Kindness’ when I took a Positive Psychology class taught by Dr. Barb Fredrickson at UNC Chapel Hill. I was slightly skeptical at first but once I tried it I couldn’t argue with the results. There are a few variations of this but what I typically do is think of 3 people. You can include a variation from family members and people who you know really well to acquaintances or an employee that helped you at the store.
First, let’s start with yourself. Find a relaxed position with your feet on the floor and slowly close your eyes. Then, bring to mind the person that you thought of who you are closest to. The one who loves you and supports you. Imagine that this person is standing to your right and they are sending you lots of love. They are sending you warm wishes for your happiness, well-being, and and safety.
Next, think of another person who cares and loves you deeply and imagine them standing on your left. They are also sending your warm wishes for your happiness, well-being and safety. Once you’ve received the love and well-wishes we want to send the same feelings back to them.
So, bring your awareness to the person on your right and send the love and warm wishes that you received back to that person. You can also silently repeat the phrase,
“May you live with ease, may you be happy, may you be free from pain.”
You can repeat this phrase 3 times.
Now, repeat this last step with the person standing on your right.
Once you become comfortable doing this with people that you are close to you can continue the exercise with acquaintances or even people that you do not particularly like. While this might seems a little silly at first you’ll be surprised afterwards by the lightness and happiness with which you go through the rest of your day.
Remember, we can’t always control the actions and behavior of the world around us. However, it is always within our power to control our responses. We also have to power to take hold of the way in which we carry ourselves through the world.
P.S. If you want a more detailed explanation of Loving Kindness make sure to check out this link from the GGSC.