Face the Negative
Being grateful means focusing on the positive, and not dwelling on the bad stuff. But that does not mean that the negativity has to be shoved aside, like it never existed. One of the ways to express gratitude is to make peace with the bad events, and not run away from or avoid them. Let the negativity not reflect on the present. Face it so that when you remember the same, you’ll be grateful for how far you’ve come.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
In the thrill of the chase, families and friends are often forgotten. When things are bad, only close ones lend support. Spend some quality time everyday with your loved ones. Care for them. When you understand that there are many in the world who are homeless and lonely, you’ll learn to be grateful for what you have – family and friends, and all the love and care.
Maintain a Journal
Writing is one of the best ways of catharsis. Start a gratitude journal. Write down the things that you are grateful for everyday. It could be about an event, a funny incident, a memory, someone special, etc. When you’re depressed, just glance at the journal entries, and you’ll find yourself renewed with hope and optimism. You’ll realize that you’re lucky, and have so many things to be grateful about.
Be humble and modest. Throw away your ego and arrogance, you cannot control everything. Find joy in little things – a beautiful poem, a cute child, a lovely flower, etc. Do not complain about trivial matters; in the larger scheme of life, they are practically irrelevant. An evening spent with family, home-cooked meals, and a movie provide much more peace and stability than a showy evening spent with strangers.
Give Back to the World
Give back something to the society. Somewhere, everyone has contributed to your success and failures. Your family, friends, teachers, etc. Do something for those less fortunate than you. Volunteer at old-age homes, retirement homes, hospitals, etc. When you see the harsh realities of life and how others cope with it, you’ll be grateful for the life you have. Hug people. Give someone a free gift. Give someone good advice. Make people feel good, and you’ll feel grateful yourself.
Just say ‘Thank you’ and notice how their reactions alter your mood. Thank the garbage man when you handover the garbage bag. Thank your friends for being there with you. Thank your parents for loving you for who you are. Send ‘thank you’ notes to old teachers. Thank loved ones for what they’ve done. Acknowledge them publicly. Notice how saying ‘thanks’ brings a massive change in your life. You’ll genuinely learn to be grateful for the presence of goodness around you.
Make peace with the past, face it courageously, but never let it hang over you like a black cloud. Learn to live in the moment. We are so worried about our future that we forget to live. Just take it easy and live in the present. You can change your future, but your present will never come back. So do what you want to, right now. You must never have too many regrets. Be grateful for today.
Spend Time with Yourself
We are truly lonely when we lose our own companionship. Spending time with ourselves is one of the best possible way to be grateful and happy. Spend some time alone, reflect on your day, think, speak to your inner self, and spend some time with nature and animals. Being surrounded by people amidst blaring music does not combat loneliness, instead, spending some time alone does. Reflecting on life when you’re alone makes you realize how grateful you need to be for everything you have.
Practice Certain Techniques
Practice meditation, it dispels tension, and connects you with the higher power. Learn to live in the present – literally. Concentrate on what you eat, where you go, what you buy, and how you speak. Control your language – don’t get abusive, judgmental, gossipy, or critical for no reason. It’ll only increase negativity. Pray for 10 minutes daily. Thank the Almighty for what you have.
A healthy life is a happy life. Go for regular check-ups. Eat well. Exercise everyday. Sleep well. Take a break from routine. Go for a vacation. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Learn to be grateful for your good health, remember that some don’t even have that.
Do Not Compare
Comparison only delays your self progress. Do not compare your life to others’. You do not know what their journey is all about. There’s always disappointment in comparisons. Stay true to yourself, and see how much burden is relieved from your shoulders.
Think Outside the Box
Get out of a cosseted world and learn to broaden your thinking. Situations are not difficult, it’s the thinking and mentality of the person that makes them so. If you believe everything will work out well, it will. Thinking positively will improve your optimism and re-frame the problems you have. Think of the bigger picture. Think that you’ll be rid of the problems one day. This positive approach will remind you to be grateful for every moment.