How to Cultivate Gratitude Every Day

As the nights begin to grow longer and we move into our second national lockdown in the UK there is a fair amount of uncertainty, gloom, and worry hovering about our lives.  But now more than ever is an important time to reflect on all of the things that we are grateful for. Gratitude is a practice and an attitude that we can consciously cultivate every day of our lives through a series of simple, mindful exercises: 

Start a Gratitude Journal 

Keeping track of things that that we feel grateful for can have an amazingly positive impact on our wellbeing.  If you already have a regular journaling practice, you can begin list three things that you are grateful for in each entry.  If you do not already have a regular journaling practice, begin a gratitude journal simply by starting each day by writing down three things that you are grateful for.  Spending a brief moment to reflect on what you are grateful for is a fantastic way to start the day.

Notice the Simple Pleasures 

One of the best ways cultivate more gratitude in your life is to begin to pay attention to the small things that bring you pleasure: a beautiful flower, a perfect cup of coffee, a conversation with your partner.  In those moments, take just a brief second to reflect on the pleasure that you receive from the simple things in life.  

Look for the Positive in a Negative Situation

When you find yourself in a challenging situation reflect on what positive angle you might be able to find.  The worry of having to stay at home during lockdown, for instance, may seem negative, but it could likewise be an opportunity to catch up on books you’ve been meaning to read, complete some DIY, or try to recipes that you don’t usually have time for. 

One-Day No Complaints Challenge

For just one day, set a challenge to yourself to not complain.  This includes both complaints that you say aloud to others as well as complaints that are only in your head.  The one-day no complaints challenge can seem difficult at first, but has the amazing ability to shift your perceptions very quickly.  When you find yourself about to complain about something, pause long enough to reflect on how you might transform that complaint into a positive action. 

Give an Authentic Compliment

In our society we are often bad at both giving and receiving compliments, and we often worry about how others will receive the compliments that we give to them.  However, giving authentic, genuine compliments to those around you is not only a powerful way to acknowledge what you are grateful for but helps to make the world a happier and kinder place.  

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