Health and Wellness

5 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

A However, there is always a bright side to everything and many of us have a great deal to be grateful for -even if we don’t realize it.

Cultivating gratefulness is a habit that takes practice but once achieved, it can help us to get through even the darkest of times. Here are five worthwhile tips on how to cultivate gratefulness:

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is happening around you. If you struggle with Mindfulness, a good book is Mindfulness: a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It is a life-changing best seller. If you are looking for an app Calm or Headspace are two good ones. There is free trial offered.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Whether you use a leather-bound journal or a spiral-bound notebook, keeping track of what you are grateful each day will leave you feeling appreciative or thankful for what you have in your life. You can keep it simple and list five events or things that happened to you during the day that you are grateful for every night.

Obstacle or Opportunity

When you are faced with a challenge, you can look at it as an obstacle or an opportunity. We can’t control events, but we can control our attitude when facing the challenge. Focus on what you can do to solve the problem, rather than what you can’t do.

When you Give You Receive

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Helping others can reduce your stress, combat depression, and keep you mentally stimulated and provided a sense of purpose. A few volunteer ideas include coaching a team, or volunteering at a hospital or animal shelter. There are endless possibilities when it comes to volunteering.

The Power of Forgiveness

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Forgiveness means different things to different people. But in general, it involves an intentional decision to let go of resentment and anger.” Forgiveness is a game changer when it comes to gratitude and being grateful. If it makes you feel better, most people have been hurt by someone; the difference is some people can move on and let their anger and resentment go. There may be an urge to justify your anger and pain, but the reality is, you are only hurting yourself when you are angry and resentful. 

Here are five suggestions by the Mayo Clinic on how to practice forgiveness:

  • Practice empathy. Try seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view.
  • Reflect on times when others have forgiven you.
  • Talk with someone you’ve found wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.
  • Ask yourself about the circumstances that may have led the other person to behave in such a way. Maybe you would have reacted in the same manner if you faced the same situation.
  • Be aware that forgiveness is a process. Even small hurts may need to be revisited and forgiven again and again.

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