Want to experience the power of being a more thankful person?
Being more thankful for what you have will enhance your life in a number of ways. Chiefly, it will make you happier, less stressed and more positive. This leads to better health and more success.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was a perfect time to share some powerful ideas for becoming a more thankful, grateful and appreciative person.
Trust me, the contentment you’ll experience by implementing these ideas is worth the small amount of effort involved.
10 Ways to Be More Thankful and Appreciative
I’ve gathered up inspiration from some of the best sites on the Internet on how to improve in actively practicing gratitude.
Here’s how you can be more thankful for what you have:
1. Imagine Losing Everything
After Hurricane Irene, this might not be too difficult for some. However, for the rest of us, we tend to take way too much for granted. We simply don’t appreciate how good we’ve got it. Therefore, here is an exercise that can help. Try to imagine what it would be like if you lost some of the things that are most important to you like your home, your income, your safety, your sight or your ability to walk. Vividly picture in your mind what life would be like without these comforts and/or abilities. Now, imagine that you get these back one-by-one. How happy would you be? Repeat this exercise as needed to restore your gratefulness. (via How Gratitude Can Change Your Life)
2. Build a Thankfulness Toolkit
It helps to have the right tools before you set out to accomplish any task. This is as true with thankfulness as it is with building a house. What you have in your toolkit will make all the difference in the world. So, I challenge you to find some tools to help you become more thankful. You can keep a gratitude journal, map your thankfulness on a gratitude wheel or initiate a gratitude diet. Pick what works for you and build your toolkit. These helpers will assist you in quickly becoming a true gratitude craftsman. (via Attitude of Gratitude: Five Tools for Appreciation)
3. Understand It Takes Humility
Humility is not a word we like much anymore. Some people equate humility with weakness. On the contrary, it takes a strong, emotionally intelligent person to acknowledge their limits and to recognize they rely on others for some of the favorable things in their lives. Humility helps you to appreciate the things you have which you did not earn on your own merit. Being humble enough to acknowledge how you’ve benefited from others and circumstances beyond your control will make you more grateful. (via 30 Days to a Better Man: Cultivate Your Gratitude)
4. Cultivate the Right Habits
Gratefulness is like other things in life. It takes focus and a certain amount of discipline to get it right. You become a more grateful person by intentionally cultivating habits that lead you to be more appreciative. As a wise man once said, “First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” If you want to be more grateful on a regular, daily basis, then you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to build up your muscles of appreciation. As you adopt the habits that foster gratefulness, you will be transformed into the grateful person you want to be. (via Allow Gratitude to Transform Your Life)
5. Avoid Negative Comparisons
We all compare our circumstances and what we have to others. When we regularly view our situation as negative, then problems arise. You become envious, pessimistic and thankless (at least a little). Of course, even small amounts of these destroy your sense of gratitude. You need to learn to avoid negative comparisons. It is easy to look at the lives of others through rose colored glasses. You need to remind yourself of how good you really have it. You never have to look far to find someone dealing with something far worse than your situation. Count your blessings to grow your gratitude. (via How to Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude)
6. Make Time For It
Our lives are a blur. We hurry from one thing to the next never giving ourselves a chance to stop and be thankful. It is dangerous living your life on autopilot. In this condition, you don’t slow down to smell the proverbial roses. You let life whiz past you without taking notice of the good things. Therefore, you experience less joy and gratitude and less real pleasure. To avoid autopilot living, you have to intentionally STOP. Make time to create a list of what’s most important to you and why these things matter. This will help you to realign or clarify your priorities. Once you’ve done this, eliminate things that make you too busy to enjoy what matters most. In other words, make time for gratitude. (via A Time for Gratitude)
7. Be More Playful and Lighthearted
As adults, we’ve become way too serious about life. When was the last time that you played and laughed? It has likely been too long. Children are happy and grateful because they know how to relish the moment. Their hearts aren’t overburdened with worry and distractions. They are naturally lighthearted and they appreciate the small things. They laugh spontaneously which is to be envied. If you are a parent, like me, then you’ve likely experienced the joy that kids bring back to the holidays. They open your eyes once again to the little joyful things you’ve long since started to ignore. If you want to be more grateful, then tap into your inner child. Rekindle a sense of wonder about the world and a fun-loving playfulness that will make you more grateful. (via How To Be Thankful)
8. Understand the Gratitude Cycle
See if this sounds familiar. 1) You have a positive experience which puts you on a gratitude high, 2) some minor troubles or setbacks crop up in your life, and 3) your gratitude level drops back to its original level or lower. This is the common cycle of ups and downs we go through. It can be downright exhausting and discouraging. Understanding how to manage this cycle can really enhance your overall gratefulness. You have to be proactive. Don’t just be a bystander in your own life. Get involved and manage the cycle. You can do this by implementing the suggestions in many of the other points in this article. (via Here’s How to Be More Grateful)
9. Stop Waiting to Be Grateful
Grateful people have eliminated the preconditions for their happiness. In other words, they have decided to appreciate today for what it is instead of constantly thinking, “I will be happy when…” You are missing out on so much when you are always longing for the next thing. Be present in the moment. Be thankful for what you already have. Learn to savor where you are. Do not miss the opportunity to be more grateful right now. It will undoubtedly enhance your life. (via Top Ten Habits of Grateful People)
10. No More Excuses
Are you reluctant to give some of these ideas a try? What have you got to lose? Adopt a “no more excuses” mentality and start testing these suggestions to find what works best for you. The goal is to sustain a more thankful attitude. This will likely require consistent gratitude building. It is just like physical exercise. You can’t do it for 3 weeks and expect the effects to last a lifetime. You have to remake your habits. Is it worth it? Give it a try and see what you think. (via Stumbling Toward Gratitude)
My Journey with Gratitude
I’m just like you. I have to constantly work to remain grateful. In fact, just last year, around this same time, I made a list of 25 Things I Am Most Thankful For as a way of refocusing myself on all that I have in the way of blessings. Trust me, activities that bring the good things in your life to the forefront really do help to increase your gratefulness. I encourage you to give it a try. You can check out my list to help yourself get started.
Let me know your results!