It’s the end of the year again and before us lies another year, shiny and new like a gift. Life can feel so stressful and rushed sometimes that finding ways to touch base and count our blessing can be something we consciously have to decide to do. Practicing gratitude can enhance a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives and help us to appreciate the blessings we have even when times are tough, see the magic and beauty around us and change our perspective in a way that allows us to take joy in the small things too.
Studies have linked writing down the things we’re grateful for to a myriad of benefits such as better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, more happiness, better self-worth and self-esteem and improved relationships with others.
So perhaps starting a conscious practice of gratitude is something to consider as you embark on the adventure of 2016. Here are some ways you can begin:
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Tips for writing in a gratitude journal:
Make a decision that you want to be happier, don’t just write things down for the sake of it. Be mindful and motivated
Go into Detail about the small things that matter rather than making sweeping statements that end up feeling impersonal
Get personal: examine your relationships with people and even yourself. Write about what you love and appreciate about yourself and others
Imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have certain things, it’s a good way to really feel sincere gratitude
Record surprises and events that you didn’t expect as these have a greater impact
Don’t force it: you don’t have to write every day. It’s been found that writing once or twice a week seems to have more impact on happiness – it’s about quality not quantity
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Create a Gratitude Jar
Another fun way to keep track of your blessings is with a Gratitude jar. Write down things you are grateful for and keep them in a big jar. At the end of next year you will be able to dip into the jar and see just how blessed you are. You can read your blessings out and share them with your loved ones if you like.
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You can also write on stones, pieces of wood, ribbons and tie the ribbons in a tree or on a branch.
Let people know you appreciate them, give them sincere compliments. It’s a beautiful, unselfish form of gratitude that will not only improve your relationships but spread happiness to others too.
Look For The Good
Sometimes life is hard, but making the best of a bad situation can help you grow. Find the lessons in difficult experiences so you can be grateful for how you have learnt and grown.