Gratitude helps us focus on our lives in a new way. It helps us to be present with our loved ones, and present in our lives. Rather than living in one’s thoughts and feeling trapped in feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression, we’re open and receptive to new ways of thinking and feeling. There’s something freeing about gratitude, and something amazing about how it can open up and expand our hearts.
The trouble is, its hard to be grateful. Trust me, as someone who has tried for years at it, it’s not easy! But the benefits of gratitude are worth it: we’re happier and lighter. We gain perspective on our life. And we’re present for it.
7 Amazing Ways to Practice Gratitude
Keep a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things you are grateful for each day.
Think of a simple thing to be grateful for. It could be something as simple as ice cream on a hot summer day. In your mind, say, ‘Thank you for..!’
Observe and be mindful as you go about your day of the small things or people in life that cheer you up, make you feel better, or your life easier.
Smile at someone and help make their day brighter
Contribute your time and efforts toward a cause you care about. Over time you’ll notice that the more you give, the more you also receive. Funny how life works sometimes..
Choose a symbol, like a bracelet, necklace or a small stone. Whenever you touch it, think of something that you are grateful for. In this way, it serves as a meditative reminder to you throughout the day — something to help ground you no matter what the day brings. '
Do something nice for someone you love. It can be big or small. Sometimes its the small things that bring great joy and happiness.
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Victoria Chialy Smith, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist providing individual therapy to children, teens, and adults with stress, anxiety, and depression. Our practice provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness based therapies, and other top, premier evidence-based treatments, and serves the Falls Church, McLean, Great Falls, Vienna, Arlington, Alexandria, and the greater Washington DC region. Call, email, or schedule an appointment with us online today. We’re happy to help develop the best treatment for you!