Use positive language: Instead of ’I'm grateful I don't have to work overtime today,' try writing,' I'm grateful for the extra time I can spend with my family today.'
Gratitude journal prompts
Try some of these journal prompts to kickstart your gratitude writing exercise:
What is one thing that made you smile today?
What is one accomplishment you're proud of?
Who is someone you're grateful to have in your life, and why?
What is one thing you’re grateful for about your home?
What is one thing you're grateful for about your job or career?
What is one way you've grown or learned something new recently?
What is one thing in nature that you're grateful for?
What is one recently discovered thing you're grateful for?
What is one way you've helped or supported someone lately?
What is one thing you're looking forward to?
Start journaling today for your own subjective well-being!
2. Practice gratitude meditation
A gratitude meditation practice focuses more deeply on feelings of gratitude and appreciation. This can help to cultivate a sense of calm and contentment, even in challenging times (16, 17).
Here is a step-by-step guide to practicing breath-focused gratitude meditation:
Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Take a few deep breaths to relax and slowly close your eyes.
Begin to focus on things, people, or experiences you are grateful for.
Allow yourself to feel the emotions associated with these things.
Focus on your breath and feelings of appreciation for several minutes.
When ready, slowly open your eyes and get up.
Practicing meditation for a few minutes each day can help you focus on the present moment. Joining a gratitude group and practicing meditation with others is also a way to feel supported and enjoy greater happiness.
3. Use gratitude affirmations
Gratitude affirmations are short statements that help us focus on the positive aspects of life. By speaking them out loud, we can feel more positive emotions and develop a mindset of appreciation. Eventually, this practice can foster a more positive outlook.
Here are some tips for practicing gratitude affirmations daily:
Choose affirmations that resonate with you.
Repeat affirmations, ideally in the morning and before bed.
Say your affirmations out loud.
Believe in the affirmations and trust that they will change your life.
Gratitude affirmation prompts
To benefit from gratitude affirmations, you can start with one of the following or modify as you need:
I am grateful for all the love and support in my life.
I am thankful for the opportunities that come my way.
I am blessed with an abundance of joy and happiness.
I appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around me.
I am surrounded by positive and loving people.
I am grateful for my health and well-being.
I am thankful for the simple pleasures in my life.
I am blessed with abundance in all areas of my life.
I appreciate the opportunities for growth and learning in my life.
I am grateful for the abundance of love and kindness in my life.
Remember, the key is to choose those that resonate with you and to repeat them regularly with belief and conviction!
4. Try mental subtraction
When we take things for granted, it can be easy to overlook the many blessings in our lives.
Mental subtraction helps us reflect on how different our lives would be without certain things or events. Visualizing the potential loss of something valuable helps us better appreciate its presence.
Take a few moments to imagine a bad event that could have happened in your life but didn't. Imagine losing your job, health, or a loved one.
Think about how your life would be different without this thing or event, and then focus on feeling gratitude for having it or experiencing it.
Regularly practicing mental subtraction can cultivate a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for the many blessings in your life.
5. Express gratitude and thanks
Expressing your appreciation and gratitude is an effective way to foster positive emotions and enhance your relationships with others.
Showing gratitude can let the person know you value and appreciate them. This can build trust, closeness, and intimacy in our relationships.
Some ways to show your thanks include:
Simply saying thank you.
Writing a gratitude letter or note.
Spending quality time with someone you are grateful for.
Doing something kind or helpful for someone.
Though simply reflecting on what you are grateful for and feeling a sense of gratitude can be enough to improve your mood. Showing gratitude to others can help enrich your relationships and bring joy to you and the person you are thanking.
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