Practicing gratitude can increase happiness, improve health, relieve stress and improve relationships with others. By recognizing what we have to be thankful for, we develop a more positive outlook of life, we become more flexible and accepting, our body and mind relax, and we become better able to handle stress in the future. Practicing gratitude can even help us fight illness. To learn more about practicing gratitude and its benefits, click here. Here are some ways that you can practice gratitude:
1. The GLAD Technique
The GLAD technique is a cognitive method to practice gratitude. Here are the steps:
Grateful: List one thing that you are grateful for today. This could be a basic need that you have (e.g. food, shelter, etc.), something that gives you pleasure, the people in your life, or anything else you're grateful for.
Learning: List one thing that you learned today. This could be a fact, a skill, or something you discovered about yourself or someone else.
Accomplishment: List one thing that you accomplished today. You deserve credit for any accomplishment, even if it's seemingly small like giving yourself proper nutrition or talking to someone you haven't talked to in a while.
Delight: List one thing that touched your heart today and brought you joy.
2. Think About the Thanks You Give
Each time you find yourself saying thank you, whether it's to someone else or simply to yourself during a gratitude practice, you should try to name exactly what you're thankful for. This can increase awareness of what we have to be thankful for and makes our "thank you" even more meaningful.
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
A good way to incorporate gratitude into your life is to keep a gratitude journal that you write in each day. Writing down the things that you're thankful for can help you stay mindful and can give you something to look back at to remind yourself of the good in your life.
4. Share Gratitude with Other People
By expressing your gratitude to others, you can increase happiness and strengthen your relationship. Let people know that you're thankful to have them in your life.
5. Stay Mindful of Your Challenges
While it's important to strive for positivity, you do not have to think about positive things all of the time, and you're allowed to feel negative emotions. By reflecting on the challenges we've faced and allowing ourselves to feel the negative emotions that make us human, we can learn to appreciate all of the good things in our lives even more.