In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the noise around you. When it seems like your to-do list keeps getting longer and longer and you can’t find the time to do the things you love, it is easy to get trapped into thinking that your life sucks. Sometimes, all it needs is one small argument with a friend or a little challenge at work, and we start pitying ourselves for how bad life is.
But the truth is, life is exactly what you make of it. The questions you ask yourself throughout the day and the things you focus on will make or break your life. When you ask yourself why your life is crappy and you can´t seem to do anything right, that´s exactly what your brain will show you: A life that sucks!
But the opposite holds true as well: Ask yourself what’s great about your life, and suddenly you will feel completely different emotions. One of these emotions is gratitude, and it has been shown by research to be one of the most effective ways to boost emotional well-being, health, happiness, self-esteem, and even success at work!
In addition, people that practice gratitude on a consistent basis tend to live several years longer, exercise more, improves your marriage, and makes you feel better about yourself and life.
Here are 5 simple ways to feel more gratitude in your life every day:
One of the most commonly practiced methods, journaling allows us to focus our minds on all the great things in our life by putting it on paper. You can either do this in the morning by counting everything that you are grateful to be and have in your life, such as your family and friends, health, a job, anything that you are happy about.
You can also use it in the evening to recount your day and look back at specific conversations or events that you are grateful for. The great thing about journaling is, you can always go back and see how many great things have happened in your life in the past.
Whenever we get overwhelmed, it is easy to think that all of the sudden, our lives suck and we will never be happy again. But if you have a gratitude journal, you can go back and read about all the great things in your life. Just by doing that, you will be able to get in a more resourceful state.
“May I suggest that you write, that you keep journals, that you express your thoughts on paper…You will bless the lives of many—your families and others—now and in the years to come.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
2. Count all your blessings
Writing down everything you are grateful for is great, but it doesn’t even need to be that fancy. Oftentimes, I prefer to simply think of as many things as possible that I love about my life right after waking up. Whether you do that in the form of meditation, prayer, or simply counting your blessings doesn’t matter. What is important is that you start your day focusing on all the good things in your life.
3. What do you get to do?
When waking up, most people focus on what they have to do. When your to-do list is growing larger every day and you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, it is easy to feel like a hamster in a wheel, constantly hustling but getting nowhere.
In those moments, ask yourself: “What do I get to do today?” What can I do today that was once just a dream, and how lucky am I to live with the people I love? Whatever you are doing today, chances are, at some point in the past, it was just a goal. Before you had that job or married your spouse, you would have given everything to be in the position you are in right now. Remind yourself of that each day!
4. Spread appreciation
The great thing about gratitude is, it’s contagious. Once you start spreading good vibes, everyone else will join you. When you share with other people what you are grateful for, not only will it make you happier, but also them.
One of the most powerful ways to spread gratitude is by telling the people closest to you how much you love them. When was the last time you actually took time to tell your spouse or your kids how much you appreciate them? If it has been a while, maybe it’s time to spread some gratitude. Tell them how much they mean to you and how happy you are to have them in your life. I bet you won’t regret it!
“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” – Gerald Good
5. The gratitude challenge
This challenge is a fun way to hold yourself accountable for creating more gratitude in your life. Find a partner and every morning, share three things that you are grateful for in your life. The challenge is, every day, you have to find three new things, whether big or small. This can range from a beautiful sunset over a great conversation you had to simply being alive.