Here are 5 Simple Ways You Can Cultivate Gratitude in Your Daily Life:
1. Keep a gratitude journal. It takes mere minutes each night before bed to write down a list of the 5 reasons/things/people you are grateful for. It gives you perspective and helps you focus on the positive and the small moments of joy that we all experience each day (but too soon forget!) Keeping a gratitude journal has literally changed my life and brought me a lot of peace and happiness. I can’t recommend the practice strongly enough! Little kids as young as 5 years old can create their own gratitude journals (or dictate to mom or dad) and write down (or draw) their daily list before bedtime, too.
2. Create a vision board. It’s easy to put one together–take a simple bulletin board and pin up pictures of people you love, quotes you love (perhaps one on gratitude!), and any other images that bring a smile to your face. I keep my vision board by my vanity so that I can look at it when I’m getting ready in the morning.
3. Remember that each day and each year will bring challenges. Parenthood is full of challenges–some big and some small. Try to see the opportunity within the challenge. Our most challenging times in life often teach us the most and we grow in patience, understanding, and empathy.
4. Try to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Start by replacing that negative internal monologue with positive thoughts. Rewrite the script in your head!
5. Fake it till you make it! Living a life guided by gratitude takes time and concerted effort. It’s hard work and takes a lot of energy to change your perspective and outlook on life and existing patterns. In the meantime, try simple things like smiling more often and writing a thank you email or note to someone who has helped you recently, to someone whose love or support has made a difference in your life.
Today we celebrate! We celebrate not because something magical happened. Not because we gave birth to a new baby or because we got a promotion at work or bought a new house. Not because anything out of the ordinary happened at all. Today we celebrate; today we are GRATEFUL just for this ordinary day. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 35 years, it’s that life is precious and our time here is limited. So, today I am grateful for this day and I’m hoping that by sharing this (first!) blog post, you might celebrate, too!