Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

The Daily Prism has taken the first dozen easy ways to practice gratitude from a Chopra Center essay: 25 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude. We will feature the next dozen tomorrow.

You can bring more good vibes to your brain through practicing gratitude. You may already be thanking your partner for picking up groceries, but what about expanding your gratitude practice? Have you considered how many people contributed to the coffee you drink every day? The coffee bean farmers, distributers, truck drivers, coffee shop owner, barista, and many others played roles in getting a delicious cup of coffee in your hands.

Research indicates that gratitude practices boost emotional well-being as well as physical health. The following are easy ways to make gratitude a part of your day.

1. Send a Text Message
A simple “thank you for making my life brighter” text message can go a long way.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Spend a few minutes each night jotting down three to five highlights from your day.

3. Pause Before Meals
Take a quiet moment of mindfulness before digging in, and silently thank everyone involved in making the food from the farmer to the preparer.

4. Run Errands with Gratitude
Make a point to thank each cashier, bank teller, and grocery bagger for helping you get through your errands. Your gratitude will no doubt enhance their days as well.

5. Take a Walk
Try practicing gratitude for what you notice—the clean air, the big sky, the warm sun, and the rest of your surroundings.

6. Try a Body Scan
Lie down and move your mind’s spotlight slowly from your toes to your head. As you concentrate on each body part, express gratitude. For example, you may say to yourself, “Thank you, feet, for taking me on epic adventures.”

7. Write a Thank-you Note
Bring back the forgotten art of snail mail and send a handwritten note to someone who recently gave you a hand.

8. Set Reminders in Your Phone
Harness technology for good and remind yourself every afternoon to be thankful.

9. Make a Phone Call
Do you have a friend who helped you through a tough time? Reach out and offer a word of thanks.

10. Consider Your Clothes
Use your clothes as another way to reflect on interdependence. How many people contributed to make your shirt? Farmers, designers, seamstresses, retail store owners, and others combined to create and deliver this item.

11. Notice Your Shower
Have you thought about who is involved to get water to your shower? What about your soap? Let your mind expand to thank everyone who contributed to your daily bathing routine.

12. Give Family Members a Nod
It’s easy to take family members for granted. Notice what happens when you give your undivided attention to your spouse or sibling by thanking him or her for supporting you through thick and thin.

By infusing gratitude into your daily life, you will improve your own outlook and also create joy in others’ lives. Your grateful outlook will help make your days great and full.

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