If I had to choose one simple habit to share with you that can really change your life, well I can’t! There are too many habits that have amazing benefits to offer, but I can choose one which is definitely up there and that is showing gratitude. Showing gratitude to yourself, to others and for everything you have in your life can completely change your attitude and outlook and, when mastered, can be life changing. So how can you do it? Here are three simple ways - enjoy!
1. Five-minute journal
When we flop down in front of the TV or in bed and re-cap on our day, how often do we focus on the bad things that have happened? That thing our boss said that really annoyed us, that traffic we had to sit in on the way home, that slow service when we were in a rush at lunch. The problem in doing this is that we forget all the good things that happened throughout the day. All those little and simple joys that pass us by as we take them for granted. Taking five minutes at the end of the day to remember those small (or big) joys reminds us just how much we have to be grateful for and just how much joy there really is in our day to day life. This doesn’t have to be a long exercise and journaling can be done mentally. You can simply sit with a cup of tea and calmly reflect on everything positive you experienced, actively being grateful for these things.
2. Listen and learn
It’s much easier to show gratitude to the people you love, but when you learn to show gratitude to those you don’t love as much, it can change everything! Picture the person in the office who really gets your blood boiling. Now next time instead of choosing to dismiss this person, ignore them or allow them to irritate you, choose to really listen to what they are saying, whether you agree with it or not, and see if you can learn anything by putting your differences aside. More often than not you will find if you really engage, you will learn more about this person and you can show gratitude for them bringing something new and different into your day. As you begin to notice the positives in this person, watch the resentment and irritation drop away and the compassion and calm flourish.
3. Practice patience
In today’s world, we want everything and we want it now and patience is not something we practice often. However, when we are impatient, we become stressed, we move too quickly and we miss so much of the beauty our day has to offer. So instead of feeling enraged that it’s been six minutes since you joined the queue at the bank and nobody has moved, notice your surroundings and choose three things to be grateful for. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad that the queue hasn’t moved as you appreciate where you are and what you have, feeling patient, calm and grateful.
Here are a few simple things you can try being grateful for today – good luck.