Embracing Thankfulness: A Journey into the Heart of Gratitude
My gratitude practice is simple yet present in my day-to-day life. Here are my tips to cultivate a positive mindset and improve my overall well-being:
1. Set aside time each day: I choose a specific time each day to reflect on things that I am thankful for. This could be first thing in the morning, before bed, or even in the middle of the day while I'm in school. I usually do this when I start feeling alone. I feel like it is a good reminder of the things and people I do have. It feels unappreciative to feel alone when I think about the people who are always there for me. Thinking like this helps me slowly gain a positive mindset.
2. Write: Sometimes I write things down that I really appreciated during the week. I try to think of moments when something or someone really makes my day. I use this to help me focus on the positive and create a record of things to look back on when I need a reminder of the things that make me happy in life.
3. Try to focus on the present: When I'm doing the other two steps I try to focus on things that I am grateful for right now, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Ruminating on missed opportunities in the past brings me down a lot. Thinking about my future can also bring me stress, whether there are assignments in school or my thoughts about college. Living in the moment and enjoying the things I love allows me to forget the negativity.
4. Being specific: Rather than simply saying "I'm grateful for my family," I try to be specific about what I appreciate about them. For example, "I'm grateful for my sister's sense of humor" or "I'm grateful for my mom's cooking." This gives the people and things in my life character and allows me to feel appreciative of the specific roles they play instead of feeling like they simply "support" me.
5. Practice this regularly: I try to make sure I do all of these things consistently. Consistency is key when it comes to gratitude. Not to say one thank you is not good enough, but when I stay consistent I think that it adds to my gratitude. I make it a weekly habit and it adds positive effects to my mood and overall well-being.