13/01/2019

Easy Ways To Practise Gratitude


There is so much to be grateful for.

I first read about the concept of gratitude on lifestyle and self-care blogs. Of course I understood the idea of feeling happy and grateful for what I have, but turning it into a mantra is something else. I can be very pessimistic at times, mostly when I am anxious or upset, but more and more over the years I have grown optimistic about a lot of things. Little by little, I have incorporated acts of gratitude into my life, without putting that label on them. I don't think one needs to be overly grateful, shout from the rooftops all the things that make them happy, but reminding yourself of all the wonderful things in your life doesn't hurt, right?
There is definitely easy ways to practice gratitude, and all those things can help you build a more positive, happier self. I will never say it enough: you need to work on your mindset to see the changes you wish for.


WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
This may seem like an easy question, but I don't think we do that often enough. Just think about a fun memory that always makes you smile. What is it that make you feel that way? Is it the place? The people you were with? The thing you were doing? If something puts a smile on your faces, chances are it's something you will be grateful for. For me, it is anything from remembering the times spent with my boyfriend, to a funny moment I lived with a friend, or the satisfaction of thinking about the days when I feel really motivated to write my novel or workout. All these experiences are moments which could never fail to make you happy. Think about them and realise how lucky you have been to experience them - how lucky you are to experience them still. We take a lot of things for granted, but whenever you can, maybe when you're in your bed at night trying to fall asleep - think about the stuff that makes you smile. Whether it happened on the same day or months ago, these are still things that have nurtured your life and made an impact, for they still make you smile now. Don't forget them - especially when things are not going so well. There can always be a little smile on your face. 

ABOUT GRATITUDE LISTS
There are a lot of ways to make gratitude lists, and I have to say that I don't make them terribly often myself, but it is something that is quick, easy and uplifting. What I usually do is that when I have had a good day, if I find myself smiling in contentment in the evening, I will get out a pen and write in a journal "five great things that happened today." I started this little habit over two years ago, on my birthday in 2016, because one of my friends gifted me a beautiful journal. I don't write every day, only for days that I want to remember. There are some days that are more significant than others, but I do have quite a few days in the journal where I've only spent my day at home, but found five little things that make me happy and grateful. Whenever I look back in the journal, it gives me a beautiful feeling of happiness and it never fails to brighten my mood.
I feel like I could not stick to a gratitude list per day, but whether you decide to try it out is another story! To give you an example, my gratitude list today, as I am writing this post, would be:
- I am grateful for calling my boyfriend and spending time with him.
- I am grateful for finding the strength to do a tough workout and push myself to improve.
- I am grateful for having a comforting coffee after my workout.
You can make the list as long as you like, but remember the smallest things and look at them with gratitude, because even a simple thing like a cup of coffee may not seem like much to you, but isn't it wonderful to be able to make yourself a warm coffee whenever you want, just because you want it? I think it is.



SHARE THE LOVE
Many things that you will find yourself grateful for will include other people. Your family, friends, partners, colleagues, even strangers in the street sometimes. So what if you shared your feeling of gratitude with them? Tell a friend you're grateful for the coffee date you spent with them. Tell your partner you are grateful for their support. Smile to the stranger who held the door for you. For me, it is often thanking my children at school when we've had a good lesson. They make me smile, even laugh out loud, and in these moments I feel very grateful for the job that I do and for teaching them. So I always make sure to have a kind word, so that this may be something they look back on too later in the day and smile about. Show others how grateful you are even for the smallest things, and chances are, it will all come back to you. Makes the world kinder and more positive, don't you think?

AN ODE TO ORDINARY LIFE
Gratitude is all about being thankful for the little things, the "boring" things. Like the post-workout coffee on my list. It is more difficult to feel happy about the ordinary, what we take for granted, than to be grateful about going on a trip, getting a new job, and all those things that don't happen every day and we feel so lucky for. What happens every day is of course less special in our eyes. But really, think about what all you have is amazing! Being healthy enough to do the workout, being able to afford coffee and cake on a weekend afternoon, having books to read and the Internet to express yourself and connect with others. Not every one has the security of having a "boring" life, of coming home after work and cooking a meal. 
I know this sounds like I am trying to get melodramatic here, but really, think about all these little things you do every day, maybe even those that seem like a chore (for me, that's the cooking... urgh!) and remind yourself that all these ordinary things make up that wonderful life of yours. Take a step back and you'll see things from a different angle - a more positive, thankful one.

What are you grateful for?
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15 comments:

  1. This year, I added practicing gratitude to my daily routine. It's filled with so much power. Among all that I am grateful for today, I'm also grateful I found this post.

    Ngumabi xxo | ngumabisglam.blogspot.com

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    1. This is the way to go! Thank you for the lovely comment, I am grateful that you took the time to leave me a word! xx

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  2. Aw great article Julia! Oh ordinary life, I love what you wrote about that! So many little things and magic moments that colour our lives... I am trying to take everything in and register the little things :D and try to relax and let go of everything else xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. I hope you do that every day Elizabeth! xx

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  3. I second your ode to The Ordinary Life. We take so many things for granted, and I see everyday when working with refugees that these little things are so precious if you loose them.

    Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

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    1. It must give you so much perspective to work with people who have nothing and dream of having ordinary, simple lives like ours. xx

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  4. I always like to think of all the things I'm grateful for before falling asleep.

    www.fashionradi.com

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    1. It's a great day to end the day! xx

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  5. Great post. Thanks for sharing.
    http://keylineexim.com

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  6. This is such a beautiful post Julia! It's incredible the impact just being grateful can have on our lives, it immediately makes us happier and more optimistic about the future :) Have a fabulous weekend!

    aglassofice.com x

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    1. It definitely makes such a big change in your life, and it doesn't take much to do! xx

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  7. Good post. :) I also have a gratitude list but I do struggle with doing it daily! Last month I bought a gratitude journal (My Little Journal of Gratitude) from Paperchase, and I like it because it gives you more inspiration to think about what you're grateful. It asks questions such as, "What are nice things people said to you today?". I also have a monthly gratitude post on my blog.

    Zania
    x

    https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com

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    1. Ooh getting one of thesee ready-made journals is a great idea! I actually didn't think about it, but moving on with my own practice of gratitude I would actually love to get one of those too. Thank you for reading Zania! xx

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  8. This is such a lovely post Julia! I think that expressing what you're truly grateful for is such an important thing to do. I'm hoping to get into the habit of doing this weekly, especially when I feel anxious or down. You look beautiful in these photos!

    My Lovelier Days

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