How to practice gratitude?

I’m sitting here at my desk, legs crossed in half lotus pose and I am feeling so happy and grateful for the possibility to live another day. Sun is shining, spring has finally arrived, I had breakfast (today I tried out „Kama” – Estonian/Finnish food made from barley, rye, oat and pea flour, with vegan blueberry yogurt, added some fruits and seeds, not too bad I have to say) with my lovely mom and we had one of our never-ending conversations about flow of life and its meaning, and the path we both are going in this life. Since I can remember myself, I always have had these kinds of conversations with my mom, maybe that’s why I enjoy them so much.

Today’s article will be about gratitude. To feel happy and live the fullest, it is necessary to appreciate and feel grateful for people, things and everything you already have. It is not that you don’t need to have any ambitions and goals or you don’t need to try your best to get where you want to be, actually you should. The sense of gratitude will give you even more strength, power and joy to stay committed, to continue things you are doing and never give up. Because you know why you are doing all of that, you are able to appreciate it and feel true pleasure and happiness from things you have and have done so far, at this same moment. Gratitude is not in the future or in the past, it is right here and now.

Mastering this skill – practice gratitude can be a life changer. I will write down some tips for you, I would recommend you to try them out, not only for a day or two but commit yourself to it for a month (habit forms around 21 days, then behavior becomes automatic, but I would still recommend you to stick with any new action for a month)

Pleasant ways to practice gratitude:

  • Saying what are you grateful for -try to do this first thing straight after waking up (you don’t have to say it out loud if you don’t wish so, you can simply say “thank you” in your own mind). I practice this every day already for some time, my life has become a lot more wonderful since I came across this practice.
  • Write gratitude journal – written form is stronger than the oral or your own thoughts. Another positive thing on this one is, that on bad days, you can read over your notes and it will be a huge positive energy boost. I love this one. I am looking for new, interesting notebook to create gratitude journal, so far I have written my “thank you”  and other notes as well, in every possible place. In several notebooks, computer, phone, on edges of book pages and even on napkins every now and then. Oh, well, I just like to write and in some aspects of life I am not as organized as I would wish to be, but the main point is that in my own chaos I always can find what I need. Several times I have tried to make a better order, but I just love my messy chaotic style.
  • Live here and now – this is one of the main ones, for your own happiness, please, learn to stay present. We have only this moment, enjoy it, appreciate it. Live the fullest at this exact moment.
  • Help others – nothing else gives more joy and bring you happiness than a possibility to help others. Do some charity work, help elderly people, children, homeless, animals (I am for those who can’t speak up for themselves. I am against cruelty and I am for animal rights) and so on. You can help in million ways, tell where the bus stop is and show direction, spend some time with someone who really needs a shoulder to cry on at this moment, give your sandwich to someone who looks like in a starvation, etc. You are giving your time and/or material goods, but in return, you will gain much more than that.
  • Say thank you to others and yourself – for each single thing someone does for you, say thank you. Think about it, feel it and mean it. Don’t forget about yourself, you are the most precious human being there is in your life, when you do something good for your own self, appreciate it and say thank you. It is time to stop your inner critic and let your best self to take over.
  • Think positive – it is about the attitude towards your life, thinking positive is a game changer.
  • Read and write positive quotes – every day read at least one positive quote about subjects you’re interested or you’re struggling. Print some out, put them in a visible place, you can even make your own quote board and put it on a wall, it can be a good reminder and positive vibe boost.
  • Meditate – it calms you down and brings you “here and now” feeling, afterward your thoughts are more organized and have more meaning.
  • Enjoy the little things in life – small things create big ones. I like to see beauty and joy in little things, it makes my days a lot more positive, I become more curious about everything and it reminds me of the characteristics of the child, which a lot of adults tend to loose over years. Our world is a wonderful place where to live at, you can find a spark in everything if you try, after a while, it just becomes natural for you.
  • Appreciate food you are eating – be thankful for food on your plate, sad is the fact that even nowadays there are a lot of people who don’t have even that and it is vital to the health and life-support. Enjoy your meal, take it slow, chew carefully, feel the texture, smell, and noise it makes, see how your taste buds react. I m for healthy, balanced plant-based diet. Natural, whole products, no one got hurt during the process, it is good for health, all living beings and our planet. Plus there are so many vegan alternatives, recipes and a lot of vegan foods are tasty as hell! I would really recommend you to try at least some meals and products. In my article, you can see more information about veganism, if you are interested.
  • Smile more often – you will live longer, well, I can’t give you guaranteed approval on this fact, but I can assure you that you will look and feel happier. Life seems in different colors. Others will notice it and it will spread, smiling is contagious. So – smile more! 🙂

These are my tips, which has helped me as well. I hope you will try them out on your own and see that life really can turn into more attractive and pleasant journey. There are a lot of books on this subject, one of them is Words Of Gratitude by Robert A. Emmons and Joanna Hill.

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