We all know what it’s like to feel grateful, but it’s typically not at the forefront of our busy lives. But, as it turns out, gratitude is consistently associated with a happier life — and who doesn’t want that?
If you’re not someone who routinely practices gratitude, Trin Perkins, M.S.Ed, corporate yoga instructor, offers some effortless ways to incorporate gratitude into your day.
7 ways to show gratitude every day
1. Notice things that bring you joy
Start noticing things that please you in your daily life and state them out loud. For example, this coffee tastes really good; the sky is so pretty, this shirt is very soft, etc. This is a good way to start imprinting a practice of noticing things that please you into your subconscious. When we can be easily touched by seemingly small things and appreciate simple pleasures, we can get better at “stopping to smell the roses.”
The best part about this practice is that it starts to spill over into your relationships. You may find yourself saying things like: that hairstyle looks great on you, I like how you’re thinking, I appreciate you offering a different perspective, I’m enjoying your company.
2. Write it down
Write a daily list of things you’re grateful for in no particular order. You can do this when you first wake up, when something comes to mind during the day, or before you sleep at night. You can show appreciation for others by writing thank you notes or a list of why you’re grateful to have them in your life.
3. Be present
Leave the past behind, don’t worry about the future; be in the moment and allow yourself to feel. A daily mindfulness practice can help you find contentment in your current situation, even if things aren’t going as planned (not to be confused with toxic positivity and trying to find the good in mental or physical harm).
4. Be of service
Lend a hand to those in need to show gratitude for the efforts they’re making. Helping someone else also helps you appreciate your resources and the support you can offer to a loved one (or a stranger).
5. Say thank you
Never underestimate how powerful those two words can be, especially in person. Whenever possible, skip the text and express your gratitude with deep eye contact and a warm embrace.
Let’s keep the list going with the help of Milana Perepyolkina, international bestselling author of two books highlighting gratitude’s importance.
6. Find someone whose job isn’t typically appreciated
Think: a janitor, a cashier, or a nurse. Thank them for their service. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
7. Think nature
When was the last time you thanked an apple tree for giving you apples? The bees for pollinating flowers? The rain for giving you water? Touch the earth with your hands and say thank you. Thank water for cleansing you; thank birds for their lovely songs; thank your body for serving you so well; thank flowers for their beauty.
The bottom line: Happiness is free; gratitude is priceless. People who appreciate little things tend to be much happier than those who take everything for granted. Gratitude and the connection we create with other people make us happy.
Need even further reason to show the importance of acknowledgment? “Showing gratitude and practicing gratitude daily can change your perspective on life,” says Perkins. “Gratitude helps you live in the moment, strengthen your relationships, and develop a healthy habit of seeing the good in people, places, and things.”
Thank you for reading this.