How To Be More Grateful in Life | 15 Ways To Practice Gratitude
Updated: Aug 17
How do you become more grateful in life?
In this video, Dr. Ryan Corte shares with you why you should practice gratitude including 15 ways to be more grateful in life.
Why become more grateful?
Living a more grateful life has a number of awesome benefits. In fact, gratitude can:
Lower blood pressure.
Decreased stress levels.
Improve immune function.
Improve sleep quality.
Reduce the risk of mental health and substance abuse disorders.
Blocks toxic emotions that prevent happiness.
Here are 15 steps to be more grateful in your life.
1) Reflect on the hard times
You're probably thinking, “why do I want to think about the hard times I've faced?”
Well, when you reflect back on some of the more challenging times in life, you become more appreciative and grateful for the good times.
2) Embrace the good times
It's easy to overlook that life is going your way. Take a moment to be grateful and truly appreciate what's going on in your life.
We're all going to face challenging times, good times, and days where you feel like you're going through the motions.
Learning how to truly embrace the wonderful moments in life is a great way to practice gratitude.
3) Appreciate the little things
I like to think of this as taking in and magnifying your senses.
For example, appreciate what you can see, including nature and the beauty of life around you. Or what you can hear, such as birds chirping or the sound of a wave coming up on the beach.
What you can smell, like the smell of coffee or freshly baked cookies. The great delicious tastes in every meal that you have because having food on the table is a blessing.
Our senses are often overlooked. Don’t take them for granted.
4) Say thank you to others that help you
Make it a habit to say thank you to those that offer a hand. Let them know how thankful you are that they're in your life.
Acknowledge and appreciate them. Show gratitude to them and embrace what they bring to your world.
A simple thank you to somebody goes a very long way and is an easy way to be more gracious every single day.
5) Thank yourself for all that you do
Be thankful for all that you do on a daily basis.
Pat yourself on the back. Don't be so hard on yourself.
We are our own worst critics so take a moment and thank yourself for getting up, getting out of bed, and doing anything.
Give yourself some grace and thank yourself because you're doing a great job!
6) Turn a negative situation into a positive one
As a practicing optometrist, there's a lot that goes on in the practice on a daily basis.
There are often circumstances where somebody comes in and they're upset about a copay or a mistake that was made.
Take a step back and look at the big picture. No matter the challenging circumstance, ask yourself:
“Where's the silver lining in this?
“What can I learn from this experience?”
7) Change your perspective
Take the time to put yourself in someone else's shoes.
For example, let’s say you have a family member that’s going through a tough time. They always bring up the same problems, which frustrates and annoys you.
When you put yourself in their shoes, you better understand what they’re experiencing. You gain a better perspective on how their problems are impacting their life. This improves your ability to relate and practice gratitude.
8) Be present/live in the moment
The next time you're with family and friends, put your phone away and ignore it.
Be in the moment and experience genuine human interaction. As much as our phones support us and allow us to be productive, they also limit us from genuinely connecting and showing gratitude towards others.
9) Volunteer/give back
Volunteer and support a cause that you believe in!
Get involved in your community and help somebody who's in need.
When you serve others, you serve a bigger purpose. This allows you to be more grateful for what you have in your life.
10) Spend time with loved ones
I love spending quality time with my wife and kiddos. In fact, family is everything to me!
Spending dedicated time with loved ones is critical to reflecting and being thankful for what you have on a daily basis.
11) Surround yourself with grateful people
We are a reflection of the people that we spend the most time with.
If you spend a lot of time with negative, condescending people that don't appreciate anything going on in the world, don’t be surprised if you turn into some version of them.
On the other hand, if you spend time with people that are thankful for what they have and are doing good things in the world, you’ll be much better off!
12) Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others
It's a trap! Chronic comparing negatively impacts your heart and soul.
It's easy to get on social media, start scrolling, and watch everybody's highlight reel.
It's easy to look at your neighbors and compare their every move or purchase.
We really shouldn't be keeping up with the Joneses. It does not lead to a more gracious life or allows you to be thankful for what you have. It simply turns into a negative habit that continues to consume you.
13) Avoid negative media and movies with destructive content
Once you identify that you're consuming negative content that leads to more negativity or anxiety in your life, cut it out!
There's a reason that Netflix keeps the content rolling instead of making you select “next episode.”
If you want to make sure that you're starting your day off with a depressing tone, turn on the news. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of positive content coming out there and they always suck you back in with breaking news headlines.
Try to avoid negative content at all costs.
14) Don’t gossip or speak badly about anyone
When I was growing up my mom would always say “ if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.” She was right.
It's easy to gossip or go on a tangent talking negatively about someone just to “get if off of your chest.”
Don’t do it! It’s not worth it.
15) Keep a gratitude journal
Write down every single day one or two things that you're truly grateful for.
This list could include experiences you've had, people in your life, or things that are going your way. When you find that you're running across challenging times, reflect back on your gratitude journal.
Star some of your favorite gratitude memories to revert back to. This will help inject some positivity into your life.
The time to be more grateful is now! What steps are you taking to be more grateful in your life? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next video where we can reflect and grow stronger together.
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