Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings – and in so doing, to take nothing for granted. We can learn to focus our attention on, and acknowledge, that life is a gift. Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of, and available to, the opportunities that are always available; opportunities to learn and grow, and to extend ourselves with care and compassion to others. Grateful living is based in, and reinforces, values such as respect, responsibility, and generosity. Small, grateful acts every day can uplift us, make a difference for others, and help change the world.
Here are some ways to practice gratefulness from unstuck.com:
- Check out the video "A Good Day" from TEDxSF can get you in the right frame of mind (also contains a beautiful meditation from Brother David Steindl-Rast).
- Keep a gratitude journal logging one thing you are grateful for each day. If it gives you guilt, don't do it as often.
- Give a compliment each day.
- If you have negative thoughts about people or things, practice a reframe. A cold conference room can become a room with a great view, etc. When I get angry at people driving or in lines, I try to make up stories about them that explains how their behavior is rational and build my empathy for them.
- Give up gossip, or complaining for Lent.
Here are some gizmos that you might find fun:
- Special equipment isn’t necessary for practicing gratitude — the real work goes on in your head and heart. But if using a tool is helpful, go for it. Here are a handful of apps and websites that specialize in appreciation.
- Start your own Grateful Project by getting inspiration from 365 Grateful.
- Gratitude Journal for iPhone, Gratitude Plus for iPad: Both apps encourage you to write at least five good things daily, add photos, and rate the day.
- Red Stamp: This iOS app will send personalized cards and notes any way you like: email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and paper mail.
- Appreciation Board: This dry erase board encourages you to share your gratitude with anyone who enters the room. Cost: $12.99