Five ways to practice gratitude in 2015
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; and at times, one that is easily forgotten as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our own lives. As you look back over 2014 and prepare for 2015, you may find that expressing gratitude for the relationships and meaningful work in your life is something you wish to make a bigger priority in the year ahead. To help spur any ideas, here is a list of five ways to practice gratitude throughout 2015:
1. Write gratitude letters.
Not only a great way to practice gratitude, writing gratitude letters also promotes happiness. Make a point to think about the people in your life who you appreciate, and sit down and write a letter to them expressing your appreciation and gratitude. The simple act of putting these words of appreciation down on paper is a wonderful way to practice gratitude. Consider taking it one step further and send or deliver the letters to make someone’s day.
2. Make a gratitude collage.
If you are not one for words, you may find enjoyment in expressing gratitude through art. Using old magazines or photos, cut out images of things, ideas, or places you appreciate to create a gratitude collage.
3. Remember your pleases and thank yous.
Although a cliché, it is no secret that you catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Show the people around you – friends, family, acquaintances, even passersby on the street – that you appreciate them by making eye contact, smiling, and saying please and thank you. These three simple words are a great way to practice gratitude each day.
4. Serve others.
Taking the opportunity to give back to your community and serve others not only helps you practice gratitude, but also helps others do the same. At Holiday Retirement communities, we developed an international award-winning volunteer program, Seniors Serving Seniors and Society
, to engage our residents in community service to enrich their lives and foster purpose.
5. Integrate daily reminders.
If you are not sure where or how to start practicing gratitude, simply begin with daily reminders around your home. Post words, phrases, or photos of things you are grateful for in places where you will see them every day, like on the bathroom mirror. If there are certain objects that convey gratitude to you, prominently display them in your home, like on the mantle or kitchen table, to remind yourself that expressing gratitude is a daily effort.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions one can have. It is said to be the foundation of experiencing joy and happiness; as we start a new year, take the opportunity to review your methods for practicing gratitude. Now is the time to make practicing gratitude a daily activity, and choosing any of the five suggested ways is a great place to start.
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