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The Power of Gratitude: 5 Small Tips for a Lighter and Happier Life Starting Today

The Power of Gratitude: 5 Small Tips for a Lighter and Happier Life Starting Today

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”
Lionel Hampton

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

Maybe the simplest and most effortless habit for living a happier life is to take one or a few minutes every day to focus on what is already here and that you can be grateful for in your life.

It can help you to…

  • Lift your mood and boost motivation very quickly.
  • Find the things in your life that you want to focus even more of your time and energy on.
  • Not just take things for granted and to find joy even during the tougher times.

It is simply an awesome habit to cultivate that demands little but gives much back.

So this week I'd like to explore 5 small tips that you can use to cultivate more gratitude and happiness in your life.

1. Pause and look around yourself.

A first simple step to build the gratitude habit is simply to pause in your everyday life and to ask yourself questions like:

  • What can I be grateful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people that I can be grateful to have in my life and why?

If you cannot come up with several things or people every day then that is OK. If you find one thing or one person then that is great too. Don’t get hung up on the numbers. Just take a few minutes and see what you come up with.

Try to not repeat the same things too often. Instead, try to think of more things and people you can be grateful for in your life.

2. Look towards yourself.

Don’t just look outward.

Take a look at yourself too. A habit of being appreciative and grateful towards yourself is a simple way to improve self-esteem and self-confidence.

Ask yourself:

What are 3 things I can be grateful for about myself?

It could be that you were a good father in a moment of crisis this week. It could be that you finally got done with that task you had been procrastinating on.

Your self-gratitude does not have to be all about achievements at work or in school for example. You can simply be grateful for your good sense of humor or that you help people out a lot by being a good listener from time to time.

3. Take a closer look at the very smaller things or what you may take for granted.

Don’t just focus on the big and obvious things you can be grateful for.

Think about what very small things you can be grateful for too.

Like the plant just in front of my laptop that I am writing these words on.

It is not a remarkable plant. But its simple beauty in the vibrant green color, how it keeps growing on just a little water and sunshine and the faint smell of nature is something simple I feel grateful for.

Another thing that I am grateful for today – that I may sometimes take for granted – was my lunch. It was a few potatoes with some grilled chicken and a dollop of sauce. It was delicious. And, more importantly, I don’t have to go hungry. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to eat lunch every day.

Ask yourself:

  • What is one very small thing that I can be grateful for today?
  • What is one thing I may usually for granted that I can be grateful for?

Opening your eyes to the small and daily things you can appreciate lets you truly see more of the simple beauty in life.

4. Do it early or late in your day.

But how do you get the gratitude habit to stick and not just become one of those things you forget about or abandon after a few days.

Two things that I have found effective are:

  • Take 1 minute in the morning to get a good start to your day by finding 3 small or big things you are grateful for in your life.
  • Take 1-2 minutes each evening and use a journal to write down maybe 3 or 5 things you are grateful for about your day, about yourself or about your life.

Try one of these tiny time commitments every day for a week and see how it impacts your life.

5. Express your gratitude.

Don’t just keep the gratitude on the inside. Express it.

Make other people happier too – and help them to perhaps pay it forward later on – by expressing how you are grateful for having them in your life. Plus, their smile and the joy in their eyes when you tell them this will make you happier too.

Now, that gratitude could just be a small sentence. But it can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life sometimes.

So tell the people in your life.

Tell them in person tonight. Or write an email or a letter to someone a little further away in the world. Or send a small text message right now.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I use tip 2 and 5 almost every day.

  • Taking the time to appreciate what you have, rather than focusing on what you would like to have, can be a life changer.

  • Thanks for this great read. We too often get caught up in trying to achieve and to get more of what ever is fashionable to speak forgetting what much we have to be grateful for.
    Thanks for this post it encourages us to take a break and to focus on how fortunate we are and how much we truly have.

  • Good cordination between facts, imagination and real life. Nice blog.

  • Such a lovely article! It’s all to easy to lose sight of the small things we should be grateful for. Even just having a roof over your head, waking up each day and being able to walk outside and feel the sunshine on your face.

  • I’m really enjoying your blog and almost always find at least one easy-to-implement step I can take today.

    Thanks!

  • marosta

    its great to know that I am not alone, moreover to share my thoughts with people who care. I am very greatfull to this article

  • Hey Henrik,

    Great post and it takes me straight to my mind and how it sorts itself out. There are days when I feel pressure to find of have an amazing answer a couple of days later. My brain continually surprises me and gives me everything I need and yet I go into doubt mode every now and again.

    Your plant takes to just after it has rained and the grass and the air smells fresh. I always grateful for all my senses. Thank you for reminding that the little things I enjoy are very evident daily.

    Rachel.

  • I enjoyed this post. We all have days that just seem to not go right or have many negative things come up … can be frustrating. But if you are aware of these feelings and just stop and take some time to focus on the now and find a few things to be grateful for you can feel the dark cloud begin to lift. I know just by looking at a picture of my grandchildren’s smiles can help me do a complete turn around from a bad day to a happy day. I guess there are really no bad days … it is what we make of them. :-)

    Thank you,
    Barbara

  • It’s amazing how such a simple concept can go such a long way.

  • Great advice. I have always been a believer in not taking anything for granted; be grateful every day for what, and who, you have in your life.

  • I really love the article and i will always be gratiful for every peron in my life n everything that happens to me…Thank you so much