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6 Practices to Achieve a Grateful Mindset
For many, Thanksgiving is a time to refocus and employ a mindset full of gratitude. However, counting your blessings shouldn’t be contained to just one day around the dining room table—regardless of how thankful you are for fresh mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Many scientific studies¹ have shown that maintaining a thankful attitude year-round may contribute to a positive well-being and improved mental health.
One important thing to consider is that one’s ability to be thankful is not solely circumstantial. Thankfulness is rarely entirely indicative of the reality of someones’ situations, but instead stems from an active choice to reflect and adopt an appreciative mentality.
Being thankful every day, though beneficial, requires intentionality and does not always come easy. Here are some simple, active choices that you can make to help you achieve an ongoing sense of gratefulness, which may lead to an improved quality of life overall.
— BE PRESENT —
This one is easier said than done, but being purposeful about living in the moment can truly make a world of a difference. We often can get caught up in our own thoughts or laundry lists of to-do items, impeding our ability to focus on what’s right in front of us and really appreciate our surroundings or company that we’re keeping.
Have you ever found yourself checked out from a class or work meeting, worried about your looming tasks at hand or daydreaming about an upcoming event you’re looking forward to?
At the start of a recent office meeting, our team practiced giving ourselves permission to be present by instilling active listening and putting our distractions and worries to the side for the meeting’s duration. This allowed us to make the most of that allotted time, being in the best state possible to contribute to the discussion. You can try giving yourself permission to be fully engaged in whatever situation you’re in, whether you’re at work, hanging out with a friend, or even running errands.
When you are present, less time becomes “wasted.” When you are present, more opportunities are created for something good to happen and for you to notice things to be thankful for.
— JOURNAL —
Journaling is a great practice to exercise being present and in-tune with your thoughts.
Even if you’re not the “journaling type,” there are many different forms of journaling that can be applicable to you.
A gratitude journal is a particular form of journaling which can contribute to an attitude of thankfulness, essentially prompting you to frequently reflect and write down what you are grateful for. You can note a few things from your day or week that stood out or made you smile, no matter how big or small. Did you have a friendly interaction with your neighbor while running outside to grab the paper? Did you catch the beautiful sunset outside during your drive? Write it down! Additional prompts include daily affirmations, how you’re learning from your challenges, and what you’re going to do to set yourself up for success.
You can find various journaling template forms online to use or draw inspiration from, depending on your preference.
— TELL YOUR LOVED ONES HOW YOU FEEL —
Sometimes our feelings for our friends and family can go unsaid, or it becomes easy to let quick “I love you’s” become a mundane exchange. Try to reflect on how you truly feel towards the special people in your life, and take time to let them know.
“More than other emotion, gratitude is the emotion of friendship,” said Michael E. McCullough, a University of Miami researcher. “It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person.”
— USE SOCIAL MEDIA MINDFULLY —
Social media can be a positive, uplifting place, but it can also be a place of comparison and judgement.
Consider this notable takeaway stated by Steve Furtick as a precaution to frequenting social media: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
It can be easy to see other people’s highlight reel posts of vacations, family gatherings, fun adventures, new outfits and good hair days, just to find yourself comparing their situation to your own. It is important to be aware of any self-infliction or jealousy that may arise when scrolling through social media.
Try to form a healthy relationship with the way you view others on social media, setting realistic expectations for yourself and removing any room for negativity. Unfollow accounts that you feel are prompting adverse thoughts, and follow accounts that instead encourage, uplift and inspire you.
— GET MOVING —
Being active has been proven to clear your mind and reduce stress, which are key components to achieving a grateful attitude.
While exercising can sometimes seem like a cumbersome chore, try to be thankful for the simple ability to get your body moving, which can often be taken for granted. Prioritizing your health and viewing it as a gift can start to shift your perspective about being active, which will in turn contribute to a thankful mentality.
When you’re exercising, don’t force yourself to do things you don’t enjoy — find something that you truly love doing! It may be yoga, rock climbing, surfing, weight lifting, or even Zumba. Go ahead and try something new!
— CONTRIBUTE TO A GOOD CAUSE —
Donating or volunteering for a good cause can help give you a sense of purpose and act as a reminder to be thankful for what you do have.
We are happy to partner with B1G1, so we can be sure that with every activation that is executed with Mirus, something good happens! Being able to provide things like days of clean water, bicycle transportation to school, and animal welfare education constantly reminds us about the bigger picture of what we do and how it can help others.
There are many organizations that are doing diligent work to make this world a better place. Choose one (or a few!) with a cause that is close to your heart and aligns with your own passions, and you can easily find ways to donate or volunteer with them!
Putting these tips into practice are just some of the ways that you can be intentional with your day-to-day perspective, helping you to achieve a more fulfilled, thankful state of mind.
Count your blessings today and every day!
¹10 Things Grateful People Do Differently | HuffPost
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