Life is full of circumstances that come into our life that we cannot control. It leads our minds and thoughts to what we don’t have, what we could have, then ultimately leading us to be sad, angry, stressed, and even depressed.
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s be honest here: life is not full of happiness at times. It’s also full of situations that we can’t control. From the death of a loved one to even losing a job, this happens to all of us.
Again, we don’t have to stay where we are, grumbling and moping around. By the way, it’s okay if you cry at times. It’s those seasons we get into, we learn from and eventually move forward.
So even though life is full of cloudy and rainy days, it’s also full of sunshine. Let us focus on those moments that make us feel good and make us smile. Let us focus on the moments that make us laugh. Let us focus on the good of the now.
This is what this post is about today – giving you simple ways to live a life of gratitude.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be stuck where you are. Your journey is still a continuous journey because you’re still breathing and living. Sure tomorrow is not promised, but that doesn’t mean you can’t simply live well today. Think about it.
So let me present to you some ways to live a life of gratitude. That way, you can be thankful every day for life, for your environment, for others, and especially for yourself.
Let’s get started.
What Is Gratitude?
Before we jump into the ways you live a life of gratitude, let’s first define gratitude for a minute. What is gratitude? In the dictionary, gratitude defines the terms as the quality and appreciation of something or someone. It’s similar to the word thankful if you think about it. However, the difference between those two terms is that gratitude shows a reflective appreciation of others, whereas being thankful is just merely showing the amount of kindness one has done for you.
Why Is Gratitude So Important In One’s Life?
There are so many benefits of gratitude that you can apply to your health and your environment. However, gratitude is the pathway to produce happiness in your life. If you express gratitude daily, then happiness will follow. Here are 4 benefits of gratitude:
- It leads to a more physically healthier life – you know how stress can cause some harmful effects to your body? This is the same with gratitude, but it does the opposite effect.
- It reduces aggression
- It helps you sleep better – before you sleep, ponder on the things that made you happy today. The happier your thoughts, the better sleep you get. You can use a gratitude journal to help you jot down those happy daily memories.
- It improves mental strength – have you ever heard of resilience? When you go through a trauma or unfortunate circumstance, yet your thoughts produce good thoughts and experiences (even through the adversity), this will produce resilience, rising above difficulty.
As previously stated, gratitude is everywhere you are. You must acknowledge and grasp the importance of living a life of gratitude. When you start living a life of gratitude, your life will be more positive and hopeful.
So why is gratitude important? It’s a valuable tool to help you live your best life. When something is not going well in your life? Ponder on gratitude. If you start to compare your life to someone else’s life because you think their life is grand? Start being grateful. If your car is acting up? Save money to get a new but also be grateful.
Plus, being grateful is more than just pleasant good feelings, which will be explained in the next section.
What Are The Benefits of Gratitude?
So what the benefits of gratitude? THERE’S A LOT OF BENEFITS TO GRATITUDE I TELL YOU THAT!
According to Harvard, gratitude correlates with happiness. It is also associated with your health, in building good relationships and developing good emotions.
Here are more benefits to gratitude, with the addition of what we just discussed about:
- It improves your mental health
- It builds good, supportive relationships
- You get less angry
- Increases your resilience
- You get better sleep
- Less physical and mental pain
- Reduces depressions
- Lowers your stress
- Makes you more empathetic
These are just a few of ways gratitude can be beneficial to your life. The more your lifestyle is focused on the gratitude, the better your perspective of life is. That does not mean that you won’t go through hard times. Everyone goes through hard times.
However, with gratitude, your perspective of the situation will differ, because even though you may go through hard times, you will rise above it. You will gain strength. You will believe in yourself rather than your circumstances.
What Is The Difference Between Thankfulness & Gratitude?
Thankfulness and gratitude go together, however, there is a slight difference. Unlike thankfulness, gratitude is more of a feeling. For example, let’s say your friends helped you change your car tire when you couldn’t. Sure, you’re thankful for their assistance at the moment but with gratefulness, you develop an appreciation for them on a deeper level.
Being thankful is something of the moment while gratitude is something that lasts for a lifetime. Gratitude can help you with any situation you get into, while thankfulness only brings you an appreciation of a temporary solution. Gratitude helps you consider the moments that bring you joy, while thankfulness expresses that joy short-lived.
Gratitude is a way of life, or lifestyle, while thankfulness is a feeling that brings fondness.
RELATED READS: 7 MODEST WAYS OF SHOWING GRATITUDE
Is Thankfulness Better Than Gratitude or Vice Versa?
Thankfulness is not better than gratitude. Overall, thankful and gratitude should both be used in your life. One is not better than the other. However, as stated, thankfulness is something that brings only temporary moments of good feelings, while gratitude is more of a lifestyle, a mindset that should be built over time.
So if you want to appreciate life more than that means you’re using more gratitude.
Why Should You Practice Gratitude?
Practicing gratitude is something to help you appreciate your life. No matter what state of living you’re in, having gratitude in your life helps you to appreciate those things that you have no matter what. I truly believe that gratitude is one of the great ways to live your best life. Gratitude is a mindful action, you have to meditate on the purpose of the moment so that you can move forward. Gratitude helps you move forward.
One way to practice gratitude is by using a journal. Buy yourself a journal and a pen and start journaling about the things you’re grateful for on a daily or weekly basis. If you want more information on how to use a journal, I wrote a post below that provides you a guide to journaling.
How To Live A Life Of Gratitude?
Living a life of gratitude is not difficult. You only need the right mindset in how you see things. If you always see things negatively, then gratitude will not be on your side. Nor thankfulness. But if you can see your bad moments in a way that helps you appreciate life, then you’re both grateful for life’s occurrences. If you want to learn more on how to live of gratitude, I wrote a post on the 7 ways to modestly show gratitude.
Gratitude is something that needs to be worked on daily since it’s not an automatic habit. Like any habit, you have to work on it for you to see it turn into your daily lifestyle routine.
So if you want to live a life of gratitude, if you want to specifically turn it into a lifestyle routine, here are 10 ways to simply do just that.
1. Life Of Gratitude – Write Down 5 Things You Love About Yourself
Sure there some things that we could change about ourselves, both physically and mentally. That’s not what I’m talking about though. There are at least some things I love about myself that no one can ever take away from me.
No, we’re not perfect people, and that’s okay. Yet, there is something unique and beautiful about us that no one can ever take away. So write down five things you love about yourself. It could be your laugh, your smile, and the way you love helping people. Whatever it is, jot it down, and keep remembering those words whenever you feel some sort of way.
2. Life Of Gratitude – Spend Time With Family & Friends
Nothing is better than joking around, watching movies, or even a having a quality conversation with a friend or family. If you have one trusted friend or family member that you appreciate being with, enjoy each other’s presence by spending quality time with them. It makes your life and theirs a little better.
3. Life Of Gratitude – Walk Outside
Nothing is more enjoyable than walking outside. No matter where you’re going to walk to, whether a park or neighborhood, there’s a sense of peace that takes over you. Another benefit to taking a stroll is that it clears your mind.
As you take your walk, observe your surrounding, and enjoy what nature is offering before you, which is another way to be grateful for nature.
Reducing stress, appreciating more of life, and promoting mental health wellness are all great benefits of walking outside. So bring that camera, yourself, and enjoy the outdoors.
4. Life Of Gratitude – Have a Laugh
I love laughing. And I mean A LOT. From watching comedic television shows to meeting a stranger at the grocery store who is just generally funny, I can’t help having a smile on my face. It’s one of those characteristics that people know me for the most part.
Watch your favorite show and laugh. We all need to laugh at times, a gratitude trait that helps us appreciate the good things that make us glad on the inside. So go ahead, laugh, and enjoy the moment.
5. Life Of Gratitude – Cultivate Memories
Ah, the memories, especially the good ones. Do you remember when this or that good thing happened to you? Cherish it to heart. Want to make more good memories? Take out your camera, go to the museum, do something that interests you, and most of all that you’re grateful for.
Create those memories, even if it’s a little thing, have a laugh (or smile), and enjoy the moment.
RELATED READS: 7 Modest Ways Of Showing Gratitude
6. Life Of Gratitude – Volunteer
How does volunteering help you live a life of gratitude, you ask? Well, it’s all about giving your services selflessly. This is one of my favorite ways to show gratitude. Here is a type of servitude that is not just about helping someone in need, but it’s knowing yourself and increasing your well being. According to Forbes, a research was made that resulted in saying that volunteering was the single most reliable way to momentarily increase your well being. Wherever you volunteer, you will either find multiple reasons to be more grateful for your life, or you will be moved to do more for someone you desire to help.
7. Life Of Gratitude – Do Something You’ve Never Done Before
Being grateful doesn’t have to be about the things that you already have. It could also be about trying something new. If you’ve never tried a new recipe, google a recipe (or even take a class) and try it out for yourself. You can even bring a friend or a family member along for the ride.
Trying something new may seem scary, but it could also be something exciting. You just have to try.
8. Life Of Gratitude – Write A Thank You Letter
One way to live a life of gratitude is to care for others. Gratitude is not just about being grateful for what you have, but also what you can do for others, free of charge. Plus, being grateful is also displaying your appreciation of others, like writing a thank you letter. So when you’re writing out a thank you letter, write it in a way that makes you appreciate the person you’re writing to. They’ll thank you for it.
9. Life Of Gratitude – Write In A Gratitude Journal
I truly believe that a journal is something that can be the best tool for living your best life. With a journal, you can write down your thoughts, feelings, and attitude about everything and anything. With a journal, you can also jot down things that you’re grateful for during the day, week, or month. This will help you focus more bettering your mood and focusing your mind on the good things in life.
RELATED READS: A Simple Beginner’s Guide To Journaling
RELATED READS: 7 Simple Gratitude Journal Tips For A Thankful Life
10. Life Of Gratitude – Praise God
What’s better than praising God? When God has given you what you need, there’s a reason to be grateful. When God surrounds you with good friends and family, that’s another thing to be grateful for. When you have a job that pays the bills, and even the opportunity to live and breathe, that’s another reason to be grateful to God. Meditating on His goodness and faithfulness brings a lot of gratitude attitude. So when you wake up in the morning, and everything in your body seems to be working well, give thanks and be grateful to God.
Whatever it is that you’re going through, know that if you focus on being grateful, everything else that seems to bother you won’t bother you as much anymore.
So my question to you: How do you simply live a life of gratitude? How is it changing your life?
Until Next Time,