I’ve come across several articles and podcasts over the past week that mentioned gratitude as a great way to improve the quality of your life. I felt like God was trying to tell me something: be more grateful. I know a lot of self-help gurus push gratitude like it’s a miracle drug, but there really is some truth in it. Being grateful sets off a chain reaction for good things in your life. It gives you a better attitude which improves your interactions with others which leads to better things down the road. But enough about why gratitude is important – you probably already know it is, which is why you’re reading this.
List three to five things that you’re grateful for, each morning as soon as you wake up:
Ideally, write them in a gratitude journal, or put them in a document on your phone or computer. But if you can’t do that, at least think about them. Try to do at least three. If you can do five, perfect. More than five – even better!
Think about why you’re grateful as you list out each item. If you’re grateful for your health, take a moment to think about how having good health positively affects your life. Does it mean you can take the stairs when there’s a line for the elevator? Do you belong to a running or club or gym that connects with you people with a similar interest? The more you appreciate what you have, the better you’ll feel.
Think about what you’re grateful for while you brush your teeth:
So, let’s say you don’t have time to sit in bed and reflect on what makes you grateful. You need to get up immediately and get going. Well, you’re supposed to brush for two minutes, twice per day. This is an excellent opportunity to think through everything that you’re grateful for. You’re multitasking – getting two things done at once. You’ve just found another thing to be grateful for.
It’s nice when you can record what you’re grateful for – then you can look back whenever you need some extra help to cheer up. But there’s still a lot of benefit to just running through it in your mind. Plus, you can do it twice per day.
Use your morning commute to review what you’re thankful for:
Now, if there’s any chance that this might distract you from the road, then skip this one. Otherwise, this a great way to start your workday. Especially since most people wouldn’t use the word “positive” to describe their commute into work. In fact, many find their mind heading towards negative thoughts. If you find that you’re going down that negative path on your commute in, then try to use that time to turn things around.
No commute? Take 120 seconds before you sit down to start your workday to think about what you’re grateful for. Or, you can do what I do and use the time you’d normally use for commuting for a morning walk or run.
James Feudo owns the Boston Web Design Agency JVF Solutions and loves blogging about personal development and communication in his spare time.