An important element of happiness is gratitude. It’s easy to be grateful when our lives are significantly enriched. For example, we’re promoted, we purchase a house, we go on a dream vacation, we get a publishing deal, our album goes platinum, we soar through Death Valley in our matte black Lamborghini Aventador. How do we bottle up this feeling and sprinkle it over all of our days?
How to Practice Gratitude Every Day
Gratitude isn’t only for significant events and major successes. When we pay attention we notice that our days — every one — give us much to be grateful for. All we have to do is recognize and appreciate the beauty. How do we do this? Reflect on what went well or what you enjoyed about today.
Still stuck? Start with the (seemingly) small. What would you really miss if it were gone from your life? Examples:
- Coffee, tea or clear water in the morning
- Birds singing outside your window
- A hot shower or bath
- Sunshine warming your skin or rain cleansing the air
- A flower in bloom or blossoms on a tree
- Picking up some fresh fruit or vegetables
- Cooking or buying a hot meal
- Hearing a favorite song on the radio
- A smile from a loved one (including your dog)
- Repairing (or paying someone to repair) your car
- A comfortable bed
- Freshly laundered sheets
Notice it all and appreciate it all.
Practice Gratitude in Unhappiness
Sometimes it’s just plain hard to be grateful — we experience setbacks, challenges, disappointments, hurt feelings. Sometimes soul-crushing and life-altering.
We can find something to appreciate even in the most challenging of obstacles. Look closely until you find it. Maybe someone showed you care in the midst of it all. Maybe you learned something. Maybe you even identified a productive way to handle it. Maybe you kept your actions aligned with your values and life goals.
No matter what is going on in our lives, we can be grateful.
Don’t Live in Disappointment
Whatever adversity you’re faced with — don’t live there. No matter how big, all-encompassing or overwhelming the problem or challenge, keep love in your heart — especially for yourself. When we’re struggling we can forget to be kind and loving toward ourselves. Remember to take care of your mind, body and heart.
Focus on the good. Be grateful for all of it in your life. Be grateful for your life.