How and Why You Should Express Gratitude Daily - The Life You Love

How and Why You Should Express Gratitude Daily

Thanksgiving has come and gone and although I don't necessarily love the holiday, I'm all for gratitude.  Being grateful for your life and the people and things in it is a great daily practice that can improve your relationships, sleep, physical health, mental health self-esteem, resilience, and more.  Plus, it just feels great to recognize all of the good in your life and truly appreciate it.  Read more about the benefits of gratitude here.
Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

I choose to think that people are naturally grateful and just don't always outwardly or explicitly express their gratitude.  For example, I am incredibly thankful that my boyfriend pays for most of our bills because it means I have to take out fewer student loans.  I don't always express that, though.  And sometimes, the thought doesn't even enter my mind even when he tells me that he just paid a bill.  It's not that I'm not grateful or that I don't want to give him thanks, it's just that I don't always think to do so.  And if I'm "forgetting" about a pretty big and obvious reason to express gratitude, imagine what else I'm forgetting about.

Gratitude isn't always about the obvious or the positive, though.  Using my above example, I can choose to show appreciation and thanks towards my bills because they represent something more than just money being spent.  Bills show that we are able to afford what we want and need.  It shows that we are capable of paying for the clean water, electricity, shelter, and even waste collection that we have access to.  You can go even further and recognize how blessed you are to even have access to these resources and services.

Of course, gratitude doesn't have to go so deep, either.  You can be thankful because someone paid-it-forward while you were getting coffee.  You can express gratitude when you find a nickel on the ground.  You can emphatically tell someone thank you for holding the door open for you.  There is gratitude in every day.  Some days, you may feel as if there is more to be thankful for.  And other days, you may feel as if you're just writing down the same things over and over.  That's okay.  You can write that you're thankful that you're alive every. damn. day.  It doesn't make it any less true and it doesn't mean you don't have anything else to be thankful for.  After days of this, you may all of a sudden remember 30 other things that deserve your gratitude.

There are so many ways to express gratitude.  One way to not only express gratitude but to also hold yourself accountable and be able to revisit your thankfulness is to keep a daily gratitude journal.  You can do this with a pen and paper or with your phone.  There are tons of gratitude apps and journal apps.  I'm still trying to find a favorite, so let me know if you have one that you love!  Of course, you can always just go over your daily thankfulness in your mind, through meditation, through prayer, etc.  You can do this at any time of the day or when you first wake up or you're about to go to sleep.

No matter what you're thankful for or how you decide to express your gratitude, make an effort to recognize all of the abudance in your life.  If this is something that you want to start doing more frequently or routinely, make it a New Year's goal.  Hell, get started on it right now.

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