Forbes recently did an article on the seven scientifically proven benefits of gratitude—among them, feeling healthier, a boost in self-esteem and sleeping better. I know for myself, I’ve tried to live more mindfully and cultivate more gratitude in my life ever since fighting breast cancer, twice. But because living mindfully and embracing gratitude into our everyday lives doesn’t always happen seamlessly, here are six tips that really work for me:
1. Set your intention—choose gratitude. Because we have good days and not-so-good days, gratitude must be a choice. Make a point daily to acknowledge all that you are grateful for. Focus on the things you do have and that are going right. There is always something, even if it’s small. When the hard times come (and they will), this important life skill can help you cope.
2. Watch this TED Talk on nature’s boundless beauty and the importance of being grateful every day. This wonderful lecture, featuring cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg’s beautiful images and wise words, is absolutely inspiring and riveting. I especially love this part, where the narrator says: “You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day; it’s the one day that is given to you, today. It’s given to you; it’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”
3. Remember and hold close your favorite heartful quotes on gratitude. Here are a few of mine:
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” –Karl Barth
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” –Aesop
“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” –Epicurus
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” –Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
4. Help animals. Volunteering at a rescue will always help to inspire gratitude. First, it redirects your focus from “me” toward a sentient being in need of love and care. Second, spending time with gentle creatures naturally just opens your heart, which will help you to see things in a more positive light. And third, helping an animal that is sick, neglected or homeless can remind you to feel grateful for the basics we often take for granted: food, shelter, our health.
5. Start a gratitude journal. Or, if you already have one, commit to writing in it regularly. Your gratitude journal then becomes a lifeline you can cling to again and again when you need to remember all the abundances in your life you may otherwise have forgotten.
6. Practice patience. Yes, it’s annoying that you’re running late and the woman in front of you in line at the market has 20 coupons and is writing a check (if only she could find her checkbook). Or perhaps it’s a person driving too slow in front of you. Identify your hot buttons and next time, instead of reacting impatiently (or steaming on the inside), be mindful. Breathe, step back and use those precious extra moments to see the big picture. Count your blessings and revel in the beautiful gift that is right now.
What are you grateful for today?
5 thoughts on “6 easy ways to inspire more gratitude today”
Beautiful – I love it thank you for sharing this. Though I must say I have volunteered for several animal shelters, hospitals, RDA (riding for the disabled), Not one of them have taken me up on my offer. Ive worked with WIRES, RDA and am a qualified Reiki practitioner. I have had not one response from any of these organisations. Ive stated am happy to travel up to 150 ks to assist and am able to assist with dramatized animals etc – still not one response. Sort of a bit disheartening when I have the time and ability to assist.
Hi Kay, Sorry to hear that. Sometimes the best way to get accepted as a Reiki practitioner is to help as a regular volunteer first, so they can get to know and trust you. Some organizations have no idea what Reiki is and might not see the benefits at first. However, pitching in where they need help and showing you are a strong team member can help them to be more open to trying something new and different like Reiki 🙂 Hope this helps! Blessings 🙂
Thank you for the uplifting inspiring words
Love you all special our Animals
Dear Kathleen, I am grateful for the “All of You Shining out to the All of Us” to inspire Joyfilled Living. I am grateful for my life, family, friends, animals, nature and being awakened by singing birds this morning… Abundance Everywhere!
Hi Karren, that is beautiful, all that you are grateful for. Thank you for sharing with our community!