Gratitude is essential to building a better you. We talked about it on Day 1. Today we’re going to put gratitude on steroids.
Attention! Crashing and life hacking is about to happen. A crash course in the practice of cultivating gratitude as a daily activity to better your life begins now.
We don’t have to wait to feel grateful; we can cultivate it.
Side effects of gratitude include:
- increased energy
- increased optimism
- increased empathy
I definitely want more of all of those. Who wouldn’t?
Do gratitude so you can begin to feel the effects of the gratitude emotions. Here are 8 practices at your fingertips: do all of them, or pick the ones that fit you best.
Gratitude life hack #1: Notice
What do you feel grateful towards?
Write down 5 good things about your day. Even things you take for granted can be here. Today for me…let’s see here.
- Laughing with my child.
- The snow. Shoveling snow (yes it made me feel strong).
- Not driving in the snow today.
- Hanging a piece of artwork the belonged to my mother.
- Fika time.
If you don’t want to write it down just think about them and say them out loud.
Gratitude life hack #2: Write a Letter
This activity more has so many positive ripple effects. When you choose to write a letter to someone who has had a major impact on your life good stuff happens. This is where you dig down and pull up all that you appreciate about having them in your life past present future or all three. It can repair relationship in ways you might not imagine.
I wrote a letter to my older brother who always teased and pestered me growing up as well into adulthood. Until a geographic move cured him of his sarcastic “love” and attention. We had become adults and got busy in our separate lives.
One birthday I reflected on how having him as an older brother shaped who I am today.
Trying to keep up with him made me strong and have a deep well of courage to try new things. Deflecting his teasing as a child taught me now how to not take things personal and smooth out conflict and so on.
When he got this letter he said he was confused and then he felt his heart soften. He asked why I took so long to tell him these things. I told him the truth: I had only just found out! I loved that surprise of just finding out. And all because I decide to focus my attention on gratitude and write that letter.
Gratitude life hack #3: Set an intention…
…to not let the day pass without visiting someone whom you appreciate. Surprise them and let them know in detail what you appreciate about them.
Gratitude life hack #4: Pay attention to every conversation…
…you have during the day and see how many you can end by letting the person you shared time with how they had a positive effect on you. Thank you for sharing that information. I learned something new from you….for example.
Gratitude life hack #5: Just say Thank You!
How many small actions that people do every day soon fade into the wallpaper. Not today! Recognize those “small” everyday gestures with a thank you. Or I appreciate that you…
Gratitude life hack #6: Download an App
Did you know there are Gratitude apps?
- The Happy Tapper http://happytapper.com
- There is a free, online, and social gratitude journal for those of you who prefer social media. http://www.gratitudelog.com
- “Rewire your brain by recoding life’s best moments.” http://getgratitude.co
Gratitude life hack #7: Giving positive grace
Grace is a religious term, but not exclusively so! It exists without religion as gratitude and thankfulness.
- Thank you for my life and love: Love to give and the ability to receive.
- I am grateful for my optimism and ability to find new perspective to old problems.
- I am grateful to all those family, friends and strangers who have walked beside me in these years and touch my heart with theirs.
- I am thankful for those people who support and alleviate suffering in this world.
- I love nature and am so grateful she shares her beauty with everyone all over the world. My hearts sings in her presence.
- Thank you to all the living past present and future who by being whom and what they are meant to be make our world a better place. For example…
Life hack #8: Gratitude Visualization
This is where you will stop close your eyes and picture someone in your mind that you feel warm towards and appreciate having them in your life.
You want to see in your mind’s eye what is it they do for you. Watch yourself with them in the interaction in your mind – the more specific the better.
Then if you choose you can move on to another person in your life and do the same or stay with the one person longer. Enjoy this “day dream” and feel into it as you specifically create the details in your mind. Do this during a quiet time in your day for 5 to 30 minutes whatever suits you.
Be intentional with your gratitude life hacks
I recommend picking pick at least one to do one each day during the week.
Gratitude can give a boost to all your relationships. Where you choose to put your laser focus on gratitude, you will promote positive growth and regrowth.