The process of acknowledging kindness and appreciating the source of it is called expressing gratitude. It is an important concept in optimistic thinking and must be nurtured in everyday life if you want to reap its benefits.
Here are ways to cultivate gratitude every day.
Let us look at a few ways that you can cultivate gratitude in your life daily so that you lead a happier life.
Maintaining a gratitude journal
This is the first step. Keep a diary/notebook that you can use as a journal. Use it effectively. Every day, make a list of five things that you are grateful for. It can be a book, a person, or an incident.
Whatever it is, write it down. This way, you will have plenty of things that you know you are grateful for, and this can help you to be happy in life and considering the important things that count.
Say ‘Thank You!” to the family
Your family is the most important thing in life. They are your strongest supporters and they love you unconditionally without judging you. Therefore, begin the process of expressing gratitude at home.
Any good thing you do is more effective when you start from your roots. Say thank you to your parents and siblings, send cards on special occasions and spend time with them. Let them know you appreciate whatever they do for you, and that you are grateful to them.
Say ‘Thank You!’ to someone unexpectedly
Unexpected gifts are the best, aren’t they? Knowing someone who supports you and appreciates you is one thing, but getting an expression of their validation matters the most. Therefore, thank someone who might not be even expecting it from you.
It could be a very little thing that they’ve done for you but appreciate it whole-heartedly. For example, if your flatmate cooked for you, return the favor and put a Thank You note on the bowl for them to see.
Volunteer to help
Any busy person would always welcome a helping hand. If somebody has helped you in the past, one of the easiest ways to express your gratitude is to help them back. Ask them if they need your assistance regarding a matter and help them out.
This would show them that you care enough to be with them. For example, if your niece/nephew has helped you somehow, return the favor by helping them to complete the science/painting project.
Gifts flowers to someone
If any of your family members or friends have recently achieved something huge, don’t just go for a congratulatory text or phone call. They are your close ones, so you want to do something special for them.
The easiest and most convenient way to express your love and support in a very simple manner is to send them a bouquet of fresh flowers. It would be a lot better if you could hand put the flowers to him/her yourself.
Say Thank You! to young people
Expressing gratitude has nothing to do with age or gender specifications. It is for everybody. So, don’t be ashamed to say Thank You to kids or people who are younger than you. If they have helped you out in some way, they deserve your appreciation and thanks.
For example, if your kids have helped you to clean the house or the garden, hand them out toffees and stuff saying Thank You. This way, kids learn to practice gratitude for you.
Yes. Gardening is not just to make your house look beautiful. It is also a way to express gratitude. Take care of your garden, both indoors and outdoors. See if dead plants or weeds are growing in pots. Pluck them out and plant new seeds.
Take care of them, until they grow and start flowering. This is to validate the importance of life over death and being grateful to Nature and its elements for the happiness it brings to you.
Light a candle
Spare some time from the hustle of regular life and spend it with yourself. An important part of gratitude is self-reflection. And candles are a great tool to create the perfect ambiance to do that.
Light a few candles, maybe scented ones, and turn off all other lights in your room. Now, put on some relaxing tunes and sit in one place while thinking about the things that you are blessed with in life that will calm your mind completely.
Be randomly thankful
If you want to incorporate gratitude as part of your daily life, don’t wait for special occasions to be grateful.
Do it just randomly, now and then, and more frequently. For example, be grateful to a friend for saying something very important that you now remember when you need it.
Or, be grateful to your teacher for explaining that problem one last time before the exam so that you could attempt it perfectly. Take cues from the simplest of things.
If your friend’s mother is hospitalized, offer to help him/her, physically or financially. Do it voluntarily even, because oftentimes, they may be shy to ask you. Also, never help someone to take credit or feel too proud of yourself after that.
Help because they are close to you and you will have a sensation of happiness and contentment once you do it. If a little effort on your part helps someone to get back on their feet. Do it.
Appreciating your pet
If you have a pet, you know that it is an indispensable part of your life. It is just a part of the family. So, don’t forget to show your appreciation and gratitude to the little creatures. The main point of having a pet is that you always have a constant companion.
Your pet has been with you through thick and thin, and they have helped you in your times of distress. They deserve to be loved and considered special.
Cook dinner for someone
Your mother cooks for you all the time. So, if you catch a break on weekends, do all the cooking yourself. Surprise your family with a delicious lunch and see the smiles on their faces.
This way, you are helping out your mother and at the same time, expressing your gratitude towards her for what she does for you. You can also do this if you live with a partner and he/she has had a tough day at work.
Say Thank You to your children
Parenthood is a blessing. Once you have children of your own, your life changes majorly. Kids bring happiness and joy into your lives and when you are with them, they never let you feel lonely/depressed.
Caring and nurturing them is not just a responsibility, you do it out of your love as a mother/father. Be grateful to the kids for giving you so much and express it openly.
This way, kids reciprocate this behavior and learn positive things.
Memories are precious things. They remind you of all the happy times you have spent with family and friends. Try to create more and more memories and also preserve them. Create photo albums, video files, and picture collages and keep them carefully.
This way, you can relive all those good times whenever you want. And just looking at the pictures will make you feel all the more grateful for the various things and people that life has blessed you with.
Encourage others in public
This is a very efficient way to show your gratitude and respect to people that you work with. Once in a while, praise your colleagues and friends in public, make a speech and speak about all the good things they have done.
This way, they feel important and validated and this creates a healthy workplace environment. You will emerge as an inspiration for others and they will try to learn from you. This will spread positivity and brotherhood at work.
Walking amidst nature
Nature is our ultimate refuge and we are always thankful for all the things it has provided us with.
Without nature and its important elements, our existence would have been null. Therefore, we need to be appreciative and grateful to them for everything.
While you go for a morning walk in the garden or a quick evening stroll at the park, notice the details around you and express your gratitude to Nature for being so beautiful and protective towards us.
Be kind when you are outside
They say you receive what you give. So, when you are on the road, keep your eyes and ears open to someone who may need your help, be it a stranger you’ve never seen before.
If someone is disabled and needs help crossing the road, or someone is having trouble lifting the heavy baskets, help them out voluntarily.
This is not just to look good and helpful to an outsider, but it also exudes your kindness and morality to them.
Posting positive reviews online
We all shop online, more or less. You can practice gratitude in this sector too. Whenever you buy something from an online seller, share their products and write positive reviews about them so that they become visible to more and more people.
This way, you are not only expressing your gratitude to them for helping you out with necessary stuff but also providing the products with an expansive market. This way, the seller will be able to gain extra profit.
Posting thankful expressions
Being grateful to someone is not of any importance if you keep it in your heart. The most important thing is to express what you feel. Otherwise, the other person doesn’t have the scope to know how highly you think of them.
There is no harm in expressing yourself openly so that the person can know about it. If you are grateful to your child’s teacher for teaching him efficiently, praise him/her. This will encourage them to work better.
Planning a surprise date
And not just with your partner. Maybe your child, your father, or your sibling. Spend some quality time with each other, communicate openly and express how grateful you are to have them as a part of your life.
This will make both of you feel much better as well as strengthen your relationship. The building block of any relationship is trust and being with each other. Spending time is very important to avoid interaction gaps that may ruin the connection.
Share your inspiration with others
With advanced social media, we can now convey our words and feelings to a large number of people. When you feel particularly grateful or blessed for something, share it with your other friends on social media.
This way, you are sharing the happiness you feel inside your heart as well as inspiring others to be grateful to others as well. Thus, the network keeps on building and all your thoughts and emotions are equally felt and also reciprocated by others.
Decorate the house
Yes. Do something different to escape from the regular mundane life. Once in a while, decorate your house with flowers and ribbons, even if there isn’t an occasion to celebrate.
Celebrate yourself, your family, and your home along with appreciating the beautiful elements of nature.
Decorate everything around you so that it is soothing to look at. Call over your friends and have dinner together. Feel blessed for the opportunity to have to do these things with your close ones.
Reflect on the changes
Whenever you are in an excellent phase in your life, keep in mind the troubling phase you have experienced earlier. Don’t brood on them but don’t forget them.
When you think of all the failures and frustrations you have faced in life versus the successes and happiness you have right now, the comparison will make you feel grateful to live for giving you a second chance to be hardworking and achieve your goal, but be humble at the same time.
Bake a cake
Everybody loves cakes. And chocolate ones are mouth-watering and delicious. So, if you want to express your gratitude to somebody close to you, try baking a cake for them. Know what flavors they like the most and bake that.
It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect or tastes as good as the ones in shops. When you present it to them and say that you made it for them, that is enough to make them smile and bring them happiness.
Expressing gratitude is not a very tough task. It takes very little effort to say Thank You to someone and it also doesn’t mean you have to spend loads of money and time to do it.
Just a little effort on your part will do the job and eventually, both you and the other person will feel better about themselves.