“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all have those days when remembering to be grateful is a struggle and positive thinking seems impossible. But when you teach yourself to practice gratitude for all things, you also draw authentic happiness to yourself and foster good deeds. As you embrace gratitude, you spread love and there may be times you want to show your thanks with anything from flowers and gifts to kind words and thoughtful gestures.
Spread thankfulness and lead a movement of gratitude, even if the only person affected is you. ‘Tis the harvest season to give thanks, so change your way of thinking by practicing gratitude in the following four ways.
Find Joy in a Gratitude Jar
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
– Thornton Wilder
Life can feel like a never ending battle of completing tasks only to move onto the next responsibility. Hours pass. Days pass. Weeks, months and years quickly pass as we bemoan our daily responsibilities, sulk in disappointments, fight through challenges and end up wishing for something bigger and better. Are you truly alive? Does your heart beat with consciousness?
Rise out of misery with a gratitude jar, a collection of messages that inspire you to continue living with positive intentions.
Start with a vintage mason jar, decorated with patterned ribbon and colored with acrylic paint. Then, scribe messages of gratitude, accomplished goals, happy memories, laugh-out-loud moments, inspirations and daily blessings on little pieces of cut-out wrapping paper (for decorative flair). When you’re experiencing a moment of negativity, pull out a happy note to read as a sprinkle of joy and gentle reminder that you have so much to smile about.
Touch Another’s Life
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
– Maya Angelou
Gratitude is not just about appreciating the beauty in one’s own life, but it’s also about sharing life’s beauty with those less fortunate or those who look like they need a mood boost. Gratitude expresses selflessness and empathy. Share the power of gratitude and spread cheer through community service involvement and volunteering. If your time is minimal, sponsor a child in need or donate to the American Red Cross. You can even go out of your way to help a family member with a business endeavor or do a favor for a friend—and do these things with no expectation of something in return.
These generous gestures can impact someone else’s life in a positive way, while empowering yourself to stay grateful. Generously helping another is a cathartic experience. Every act of kindness without reciprocity, no matter how small, makes a difference and is also a way to show appreciation for how fortunate you are.
Make Someone’s Day
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
– Marcus Proust
Turn kindness into an epidemic by mindfully embracing gratitude and encouraging others to do the same. Gift giving is beyond fulfilling, especially as the holiday season approaches. Unexpectedly send a beautiful autumn floral arrangement to a long-distance friend to celebrate not only the fall season, but your enduring friendship. Or surprise mom to warm her heart (and more importantly, satiate her sweet tooth).
Be mindfully thankful through random acts of kindness like:
Sending a handwritten letter in a card to a special loved one
Committing to consciously complimenting someone every day
Paying for a random customer’s coffee
Inspire these friends, family and strangers to think about what they’re most thankful for and pay it forward. Spreading kindness may make others smile, but it lifts your spirits too.
And don’t forget to show appreciation for yourself. Deliver bright and beautiful Let The Sunshine In Fall Sunflower Bouquet to your house to enliven your home with happiness and cheer. You deserve it.
Take Insta-Gratitude Photos
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
– John Milton
Like happiness, gratitude is a mindful endeavor that doesn’t come easily, but if you can dedicate a moment each day to give thanks for love, beauty and blessings, you’ll develop a natural habit of recognizing life’s virtues and the ways in which you can enrich the lives of others.
Challenge yourself to mindfully “encounter everyday epiphanies” by posting Instagram pictures of things for which you are grateful. PostivelyPresent.com has a 30-day guide inspiring different types of gratitude for each day. Taking a picture every day reminds you to live in the present moment and motivates you to celebrate gratitude both visually, aesthetically and socially.
Documenting moments of gratitude through pictures enriches your everyday life. You’ll naturally start noticing and appreciating fleeting moments of beauty, warm sentiments and kind gestures that you may have easily dismissed or taken for granted before. A photo-based gratitude challenge teaches you to always mark moments and treasure items worth giving thanks for, thus positively enhancing your outlook on the world.