Are you ready to be happier? Try these 5 tips to create more gratitude and joy in your life. We’re constantly bombarded with messages telling us that there's something else that's wanting newer, bigger, or better that we should want. Gratitude is about focusing on what you already have right now.
Does your happiness meter sound something like this: ‘I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds, when I buy a bigger house, when I find the right partner, when I have a new job?’
Hop off the hamster wheel. Focus on creating gratitude for what you have right now.
You've already got what it takes for you to be happy with your life, right now.
Enjoy what you already have. Celebrate your accomplishments. Recognize how far you've already come. Appreciate the little things in life.
When happiness is conditional on achieving a goal or dream that you haven’t yet achieved, it blocks you from having gratitude for where you are today. It’s perfectly fine to want to grow. To find happiness, however, appreciate what you already have.
People who practice gratitude on a regular basis are happier.
Last year, I changed up my gratitude practice. Since then, I am attracting more of what I want in my life with ease. I’m sharing 5 simple steps to creating a powerful gratitude lifestyle below.
I've been practicing gratitude for years, but didn’t give it the time and attention it deserved. When I got busy, I found myself mentally racing through things I was grateful for, rather than taking time to journal. Sort of like “quick, quick, name 3 gratitudes before I fall asleep!”
Now, I do it differently. More intentionally. Having a regular gratitude practice makes a huge difference in my life.
In the past, I used to write simple gratitudes more like this:
“I’m grateful that my kids helped their grandparents when they weren’t feeling well.”
Now I write more deeply, using specific examples and identifying my feelings:
“I’m grateful that my kids grew up to become loving and responsible young adults. I love that they each took it upon themselves to be there for their grandfather as he faces some big health challenges. They flew across the country to visit, bringing cheer, hope and humor. They cooked, met with doctors, laughed and shared their lives. Somehow, my husband and I got this parenting thing right!”
This second gratitude is more powerful because it’s specific and taps into my feelings. When I go back and reread it, I’m whisked back into the feelings of gratitude over and over again.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to create more satisfaction with your life. It’s based on the science of positive psychology.
Studies show that practicing active gratitude
Increases resilience so you bounce back from stress and difficult times
Creates awareness and attracts more of what you want into your life
Improves psychological and physical health
Increases self esteem
Improves personal and professional relationships
You can tap into all of these benefits - for free! Create your gratitude habit with these 6 simple steps.
1. Make gratitude journaling part of your daily routine.
When is the best time to regularly commit to journaling? You might choose to reflect over a cup of coffee in the morning to start your day with a positive vibe. Maybe journaling every night at bedtime works better with your schedule. Whatever works, stick with it.
I tried journaling at night. But life happened, and I’d end up jotting down speed-gratitudes before going to sleep. Morning is definitely a better time for me to do this regularly.
Write down three things (or more!) that you’re grateful for. Bring it alive, connecting with as many of your senses as possible.
Get as creative as you want! Use colored pens, sketches and doodle. Whatever feels good. It’s your choice! Sign up for my 7 Day Happiness Experience, and I'll send you a happy email every day for 7 days to get your gratitude journal started!
Here’s a trick: go deeper! You don’t have to write a whole chapter (you sure can if you’re inspired). Take time to come up with more than a quick laundry list. Really experience the powerful feelings of what you are grateful for.
Try it for 30 days, and allow time for it to become a fun daily ritual.
2. Notice the joy that comes from appreciating the little things in life.
Smile at people, say thank you, hold the door for the person behind you, leave a generous tip, bring your friend a bunch of flowers from your garden. Good vibes come from small kindnesses.
3. Thank people.
When it’s not expected. Send a text. Make a call. Write a recommendation. Send an old-school handwritten card or note. Make someone’s day!
4. Look back on your gratitude journal.
Read your previous journal entries over again. Relive the positive gratitudes on good days or challenging ones. Your words will be waiting in your journal to lift your spirits and reconnect you to your joy.
5. No strings attached!
Random acts of kindness for the heck of it are tremendously fun. Learn to accept heartfelt thank you’s with grace and ease.
Being able to accept kindnesses from other people is an important part of gratitude.
It can be hard for people who are givers to be on the receiving end, as I recently learned when I told my barre instructor that I loved her pink shirt.
It was the exact color of the dress I hoped to find for my daughter's wedding. The next thing I knew, she handed it to me. I thought she was joking, but she shut the studio door and wouldn't take it back. It felt awkward for me to be on the receiving end.
She literally gave me the shirt off her back!
I love giving, but am not as comfortable receiving. By allowing her to share in such a heartfelt way, I gave her the pleasure that comes from the joy of giving.
Accepting gifts with grace is as important as giving with grace. Please accept my gift of four inspirational phone wallpapers by clicking on the picture above!
A lifestyle that celebrates gratitude brings happiness. More happiness brings more gratitude. Which brings more happiness . . . It’s a pretty nice cycle! All of these benefits are will help you to become happier, healthier, engaged, inspired and more connected. Bonus: you can tap into all of these benefits for free. What's not to love!
I'm here to help you use these 5 simple steps to creating more gratitude in your life bring you more joy for the little and big things in your life if you'd like more support.
Here's to your happiness!
Denise Fountain is a Life Transformation Coach and Certified Professional Coach. She works with women going through transitions to rediscover themselves and create lives that are happy, healthy and whole again. Together with her clients, she explores the connection between stress, health and happiness, and guides her clients to move forward to make lasting and sustainable changes.
Denise is passionate about helping women live their best lives. Denise provides coaching for clients living anywhere by phone or Skype, and is available for speaking engagements and workshops. Sign up for updates. Contact her at email@example.com to learn more about how Denise can partner with you to create the life you dream of.