attitude: gratitude

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Feel down or disappointed?  Or maybe like something is missing from life? Try a daily dose of gratitude.

More people than ever are searching to become the best version of themselves and ultimately, lead a happier life.   While there are countless strategies to lift mood, one key element to improving well being is practicing gratitude.  

Gratitude is simply the act of acknowledging the good of others or the good things we have.   It is a selfless act that helps us connect to something larger than ourselves, whether it is other people, nature or a higher power.   There is no doubt that being grateful can make us feel good and research has shown that gratitude can physically change our brain and boost happiness.    

Ready to re-wire your brain in the name of being thankful? Here are five tips to be grateful everyday.

1. Start small.   You can’t change your entire mindset in a single day, so start small.  Find just one thing that you appreciate each day.  This could be as simple as an admirable quality in a friend, an afternoon snack that hits the spot, nice weather, or your favourite song on the radio.  Once you tune in to things to feel grateful for, you’ll naturally begin to notice more positives in your day.  To get a kick-start, try our 7-day gratitude challenge.   

2. Stop comparing.   Comparing yourself against other people is tempting, especially when it comes to social media, but this will only sabotage gratitude.  The problem is, we tend to have a bias toward seeing others as better or having more than us.  So, stop comparing.  If you’re still going to compare, be fair; yes, there are people who may have more than you, but there are just as many less fortunate.

3. Write it down.   Journaling about what you’re thankful for is a great way to tune in to gratitude.  Flipping through your journal can also serve as an quick mood enhancer anytime you’re feeling low.   If writing in a diary doesn’t come easily, try the 7-day gratitude challenge, a journaling tool to help focus your mind toward the positive.  For example, answer prompts like: “What did I learn today…” and “I felt inspired when…”.

4. Give more.    Try doing something nice for someone else.  Not only will it brighten your mood to bring someone joy, but you’ll feel grateful for your time, talents, abilities or whatever else you have to offer.  

5. Small things often.   Success comes in small steps. Consistency is key when it comes to cultivating your gratitude habit and a great mantra is “Small Things Often”.  Focus regularly on the good in situations, yourself or others and in what will feel like no time at all, gratitude will come naturally.

If switching to a more positive mindset is something you want but find hard to do or maintain, then a clinical psychologist can help.  The truth is, life is complicated and practicing gratitude can be hard but it is worthwhile if you seek a more joyful and thankful approach to life.  For help Contact Us.  

by Lydia Rigano

this article is also in DUOMagazine December 2017

Lydia Rigano