Keep a Gratitude Journal
We live in a world drawn to the next best thing. We are constantly bombarded with messages of better and more. With so much input to acquire, finding peace with the present moment and joy in what we have right now can be challenging.
A gratitude journal is the perfect way to take time to be present and joyful, and a brilliant way to keep track of all the wonders in your life when gratitude feels difficult to connect to.
You don’t need a fancy journal or an app — simply write three things you are grateful for in a notebook every day. Choose a time that works for you — perhaps first thing in the morning to prepare for your day or as a recap of all the beauty that happened at night — and stick to your schedule.
Find Your Cause
News channels can inundate us with terrible stories, and the challenges of the world can seem impossible to overcome. Living a life of gratitude can be difficult when there is so much negative to focus on.
There is no better way to generate a sense of appreciation than by giving back. By becoming part of the solution, you can find a way out of apathy and remember that there is good in the world.
What cause makes you passionate? What do you think the human race needs more of? Consider donating funds or time to a cause — and let your work be a part of living a life full of gratitude!
Practice with Friends and Family
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
- Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
One of my favorite parts of this season is the few moments I spend telling my friends and family what I am grateful for before we dig in during holiday gatherings. But instead of waiting for that one day a year, you can foster an attitude of gratitude with family and friends every single day.
Tell your loved ones about their importance in your life by playing a simple game at dinner each night. Have each person pick one high and low point from the day. The high point is another way of expressing gratitude at all that is wonderful in your life right now. The low point helps bring you all closer together, provides a sense of community, and helps you to show one another how to face and overcome challenges as they arise.
Create a Gratitude Board
As a new year comes into being, now is the perfect time to cultivate a whole year of gratitude — in a very visual way.
Start with an empty board on January 1st. Throughout the year, pin items that resonate with you. Perhaps it’s a thank you card from a friend, art from your child, an award at work, or a quote that bring brightness to your day. Everything that brings you a sense of peace and fullness in the moment belongs on the board.
This will be a visual reminder of all that your life has in it, all the moments of gratitude that you’ve experienced this year. See just how full you can get your board in 2016.
Let your gratitude flow this season — you will not only reconnect with yourself and the present moment, but you will also bring a sense of happiness to all of your friends and family.