Every year around this time, we like to take some time to realign our hearts on the things that matter and remind ourselves to practice gratitude in our daily lives. Sometimes being grateful is just plain hard, especially when we’re overwhelmed and caught in the middle of a sea of less than ideal circumstances. A lot of times, we have to choose to be grateful despite going through difficult seasons. So today, we’re sharing 5 ways to cultivate gratitude in your life. Let’s be known for our overwhelming gratefulness in 2017.
- Write it down. There’s something about seeing all of our blessings down on paper that sparks joy and gratitude in our daily lives, and when we write things down, we can’t forget them. On days when you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed and ungrateful, go back and look at all the things you have to be grateful for. The sun shining on your kitchen table and the giggles coming from the playroom upstairs– write down these little moments so you don’t fail to recognize them. When we fail to recognize our blessings, we fail to appreciate them.
- Give yourself reminders. Find something each day that reminds you to give thanks. It could be the 5 minutes you wait outside your little one’s bedroom door, waiting for them to fall asleep, or the time while you’re waiting for your garage door to open when you come home. Mark that time as your time to stop and remember the things you’re grateful for. Having these little reminders will help cultivate a grateful heart in life’s little moments.
- Do something nice. Sometimes we underestimate the power of just doing something nice for a person in need. When we acknowledge the needs of others, we often become more grateful for our own blessings.
- Write thank-you notes. Express your gratitude to someone who deserves it! Not only does this help to cultivate gratitude in your own life, but it will also spark joy in the life of someone who deserves it. Write thank-you notes for your mail man, your mentors, or your little ones’ teachers. Make this a habit in 2017.
- Change your outlook. We’re big believers that perspective changes everything. Instead of complaining about the crumbs on your kitchen floor, be grateful for the people in your house who make the crumbs. The next time you’re tempted to complain about eating leftover pizza for dinner for the third day in a row, choose to be grateful for access to clean food and water. When we choose to fix our eyes on our blessings, we’ll find our hearts and minds overflowing with gratitude. We want more of that in 2017.