The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gratitude as 'the state of being grateful, thankfulness. People too often forget how gratitude can impact your life and change things for the better.
We tend to take for granted the little things in life, but there are times when we should be gratefully thankful for having them. Showing gratitude is more than just about feeling good. It has so many benefits to mental well-being.
When you regularly show or express gratitude for things happening in your life, you reduce the risk of developing stress and depression. You also increase your optimism for life, which allows you to take more chances, go on adventures, and do the unexpected.
Another added benefit is feeling better connected to family and friends. Your relationships will thrive no matter who they're with because anyone in your life knows they are valued and appreciated.
Here is our guide to show gratitude in 7 simple ways.
1. Be available.
When a friend is having a bad day, be there for them. Be the shoulder they can lean on when they need it the most. Don't be distracted either; give them your full attention. Your time and effort are what count the most.
When someone has a problem or something on their mind, spend your whole day listening to them vent. It's horrible when you're upset, and no one listens. Often, they need to get things off their chest and feel significantly better after talking about all the problems.
Show up unannounced with a gift. Gifts don't have to be expensive, but it can be as simple as flowers or their favorite candy bar. This kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
2. Be more thankful.
When someone introduces you to something new, thank them for the experience. People choose to share whatever it is with you because they enjoy it, and they want you to experience the same joy that they do. Rather than just taking from others without saying thank you, show your appreciation for their generosity by thanking them--and genuinely meaning it.
3. Be more helpful.
Offer to run errands for a friend or family member if you know they have a lot on their plate. Taking an hour or so out of your day to help someone else goes such a long way, and that person in return will always be grateful.
Offering to help them with tedious tasks is so much bigger than you may realize. Maybe you don't know exactly how they are feeling, but if someone needs help, offer to assist them because sometimes even the most minor errand can be overwhelming when you are juggling a long list of things you need to get done.
4. Be more kind.
Find a way to give back to the world through random acts of kindness.
What are some random acts of kindness ideas?
- Write positive notes and post them around your community.
- Send care packages to those in need.
- Pay it forward next time you're in line grabbing coffee.
- Leave positive reviews from small businesses you have shopped with or you love their items.
- Volunteer in your community.
- Visit a nursing home and ask to meet with patients who may not have any family or get many visitors.
- Smile at a stranger; it's free.
5. Be considerate to your well-being.
Stop beating yourself up over a giant list of tasks that seem never to end.
Take it one task or goal at a time, which will help give you the motivation to keep pushing forward when things get challenging or stressful.
When things get too overwhelming, take a break and treat yourself to something you find joy in. It could be reading that book that's been on your bedside table for the last three months, or it could be going for a spa day.
Whatever makes you happy do it, without guilt.
6. Be more giving.
Go through your house and get rid of your outgrown, gently used or unused stuff.
Find local charities that help people or families in need and donate your items to them. That extra jacket in the closet you haven't worn in a year could be a treasured item to someone who isn't so fortunate.
Give your time to a cause you find meaningful. It could be helping clean up a beach or an orphanage. As long as you're giving back, it will feel good.
Giving back to your community and the world helps you grow as a person and helps those struggling in poverty. Imagine a world where we knew no one was going without a coat in the winter or that every human being owned a pair of socks. A small donation goes a long way.
Helping others also helps us be more grateful for what we have and helps give us perspective on how the world works.
7. Be more courageous.
You're not living the life you deserve when you live in fear. Exposing yourself to vulnerabilities is a great way to overcome your insecurities and anxiety.
Be more confident in yourself, believe in your dreams and aspirations because the only thing in your way is yourself. A good way to start being more courageous is to open up to those closest to you and openly discuss your fears. When you open up to others about your fears, they can more easily provide support and assistance.
You can't let fear dictate your life, so focus on getting ahead by living and taking risks. The main objective of life is to be happy. If you don't have happiness, then what do you have? The truth is that being happy is the only real goal. The only way to indeed be satisfied in life is through self-improvement and perseverance. To achieve these things, you need courage.
These steps will make your life more fully as you learn what to appreciate, value, and what matters. You can only go so far in life when your gas tank is half empty, if you know what we mean. Gratitude ultimately makes you a better person, which makes the world a little brighter.
Imagine if everyone in the world practiced these steps how much we would achieve.
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