Practicing Gratitude: A Guide to Becoming Grateful
Updated: May 19, 2021
In this post, I've laid out a list of things to be grateful for and how to apply that gratitude to your day to day life.
Being grateful is far more than just listing off a generalized list of things to be grateful for, one day a year, on Thanksgiving. You know what I'm talking about here. “I'm grateful for...my family. My health. This meal.” etc, etc, etc.... BORING. Those are great things to be grateful for but they don't really pack a punch if you aren't telling yourself those things everyday. I wake up every morning, roughly around 6:30am. And I start my day by telling myself all the things I'm truly grateful to have in my life. I tell myself those things and I believe them with every fiber of my being. It's easy to feel down about your life, just don't stay there. Take a minute to really appreciate how far you've come, and how much you have. I sincerely hope every one of the things I mention below applies to all of you as well.
I start my day by telling myself all the things I'm truly grateful to have in my life.
I'm grateful to be alive.
Being alive is a wonderful thing to be grateful for on a daily basis. Waking up each day, with your health and bodily energy is something to be thankful for every single day. It seems like an obvious one, and certainly one that is said more often. “I'm grateful to be alive.” It's true though! The gift of life is incredibly precious and waking up day after day, regardless of what that day will hold, is special and should be appreciated. Just being here is something to give yourself a reminder about, and really be grateful for it.
I'm grateful to have a home.
Be grateful for the home you have, whatever that looks like for you. Even if you aren't in your dream home yet, take a minute to appreciate where you are. And that more likely than not, you're doing better than you were five years ago. Five years ago me couldn't even imagine the wonderful home that I would come to live in today. To have heat, hot water, food in the house, electricity, locks on the doors and a safe place to rest and recharge is something to be grateful for everyday. It's certainly more than a lot of people get. I don't think anyone is blind to the homeless problem that plagues the United States. If you're sitting indoors right now, and you've got hot water and food in your home and you've got electricity to fuel your computer or phone that you're reading this on, then you're doing extremely well right off the bat. Take a moment of gratitude for that.
I'm grateful to have a pet.
Be grateful for the animals you share your world with. If you have pets; Cat, dog, rabbit, lizard, etc... Then you should take a minute right now to go boop them on the head and tell them you love them. Having animals around can make a dull day so much brighter. And for them, you are the center of their world! The bond that is created between a human and their pet is magical and should be appreciated. My little fur baby is a huge ray of sunshine in my day-to-day life and I tell him, and myself, how incredibly grateful I am to have him every single day. Multiple times a day. Perhaps it's because animals often times don't outlive their humans that it makes our time with them that much more special. Appreciate that you get to experience a little slice of your lifetime with a wonderful creature.
I'm grateful for my friends and family.
Be grateful for the human relationships in your life as well. Friends and family can play a vital role in feeling happy and secure. If you have a strong support circle of family and/or friends, then that's something to appreciate right now. There's something to be said about being your own biggest fan and building yourself up, but there's something special about the support and love that only friends and family can give, that just warms the heart a little bit more. To have the peace of mind that you aren't alone on this wild rollercoaster called life is a blessing. Call your friends and family right now and tell them how much you appreciate them being in your life.
I'm grateful for all of my jobs. Past, present and future.
Be grateful for employment. Especially right now, early 2021, when this is being written, being employed is not the easiest thing to do. I once heard someone say, “At least you have a job to complain about.” In a world where it's rare to have a job that actually pays you well enough to survive, if you even have a job at all, you're already one step ahead. I'll go out on a limb here and say that most of you reading this, probably don't have a job that sufficiently pays you enough to live comfortably, and that's okay! We're all pretty much in the same boat on that one. We'll all get to a point someday, hopefully soon, that we are paid a living wage. In the meantime though, take a minute to be grateful that you even have a job to complain about.
I'm grateful for a clean, safe, reliable vehicle.
Be grateful for the car you have to drive, or the bike you have to ride. If you don't have either of those but you get yourself around on a scooter, be grateful for the scooter you have to scoot on. Whatever your mode of transportation, be grateful that you have it. Cars are an incredibly expensive asset to have and it can be challenging to attain one. I was fortunate enough to have family (that I'm oh so grateful for) that were able to help me buy a new car when mine had completely died and gone to car heaven. A lot of people don't have that resource. Take a moment, maybe when you're driving or riding your bike, to appreciate that you have a way to get around and go where you want to go, regardless of how you got your mode of transportation. If you paid for it all on your own, appreciate that you were able to do that.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis isn't always an easy thing. It quickly can resort back to Thanksgiving dinner vibes and just become a list that you repeat throughout the day without any real feeling or attachment to it. The key here is to catch yourself in moments when these blessings would occur; Hanging out with friends or family, taking a bath, driving in the car, etc...Catch yourself in those moments and say to yourself, “Wow. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life.” “I am so grateful to have hot water when it's so cold outside.” “I have a safe, reliable vehicle to get me where I want to go.”
Your life is full of big and little blessings. Show gratitude for them, whatever they are.