10 Ways to Elevate your Gratitude

Being grateful is something that can benefit us all. Rarely is anything promised to us, and unfortunately, it’s all too common that some individuals must endure misfortune to realize all that they have to be grateful for. Unpleasant as they may be the “bad times” can be used a catalyst to embrace gratitude. Below are a few ways to step-up your gratitude and foster a bit balance in tranquility in life.

 #1: Being Preset

This is a big one! In today’s fast-paced, always-on society, it can be quite challenging to be “present”. Taking a little time to be thankful for the breath of life, employment, family, friends, and a sound-mind can work wonders. Being present allows us to focus on that which we may otherwise unintentionally take for granted.

#2: Journaling/ Writing

Put it in Writing! Writing is something that is dear to me, and deeply therapeutic. The intention involved in writing motivates us to really dig deep, to engage details that would otherwise lie dormant. Don’t overwhelm yourself, a few lines, a paragraph, or a full page will suffice. I love writing because it allows me to time-travel. Things to be grateful for in the past, present, and looking forward to the future.

#3: Acts/Habits

Acts of kindness are fertile ground for gratitude. Not saying to go off on a people-pleasing frenzy, but it’s usually the small things that count. Holding a door, sending a note of thanks just because, paying for a coffee/tea. These acts become habits that keeps our gratitude harmonious. Not only may others be grateful for our deeds, but we also can be grateful that we can be in the service of others.

#4: Speech

Words are powerful. Especially when directed inwardly. Treat yourself with gratitude as well as others. Kind speech is beneficial to all. Starting with the basics of “please” and “thank you” can set the tone for grace and compassionate intent.

#5: Meditation

I am grateful to have been exposed to meditation at the age of 12.  After a while, I began to love it. Meditation fosters insight and introspection, as well as relaxation among other things. While meditation can add quite a bit to our lives, it can also serve to remove the dross that can obstruct our view on being grateful. Being consumed with the “what ifs” and “why nots” can be draining, meditation can help to clear the mind and yield to progression and expansion.

#6: Digital Detox

A term that’s used often, but difficult to enact. We are constantly connected, phones, computers, cars, television, radio etc. Our brain is constantly stimulated, with little time to reset before its hit again with the next notification. While some professions require a lot of screen time, it’s important to take breaks when possible. The world can literally pass us by while enthralled in the digital world, recent studies have shown the deleterious effects of too much screen time.

#7: Time with Friends/Family

Having people in our lives that love and care for us is something to be grateful for. Taking time to be with our loved ones helps to fill up gratitude reserves! Creating new memories, smiles and laughter are remedies for our fast-paced world. Let them know what they mean to you, as we often go without truly letting others know their value on our lives.

#8: Visual Cues

Pictures, art, even people can serve as visual reminders to be grateful. We can easily forget to be grateful moving about our daily routine but setting visual cues can be a big help. Be mindful in decorating your surroundings, at work and in the home, little touches can make all the difference in our gratitude.

#9: Travel

It doesn’t have to be a grand trip. It could be to the other side of town or the other side of the world. Stepping out of our normal surroundings and habitat can provide many reasons to be grateful. We may complain, but there are others who may be less well-off than us. On the flip side, we may be motivated to reach new heights in life, our career and beyond! A new surrounding can foster “out of the box” thinking. Have fun!

#10: Honesty

Being honest with others is great, but to be honest with ourselves is key. Life is the crucible in which our perception is forged. We must be honest about our interpretations and how they serve us. Being in a perpetual state of inauthenticity is no way to be. Misplaced loyalty, ignorance and lack of mindfulness robs us of gratitude, or may even provide us with a false sense of gratitude. Take a step back, ask yourself if you are honest with yourself about a given situation, it’s not always easy and can require some serious work. The work justifies the means, and you may be surprised as to all you have to be grateful for once you are openly honest with yourself.