In our fast-paced world, people are used to living their lives on auto-pilot. Get up, have breakfast, go to school, go to work, go home, have dinner, watch TV, sleep. This routine often goes uninterrupted, as there are no thoughts involved. You don’t need to think about brushing your teeth or making your bed; you’ve been doing that for years!
When your thoughts are stuck in the same pattern, breaking certain habits becomes very difficult. One practice that is truly transformative is, you guessed it, gratitude! Through gratitude, you can rewire your brain to focus on the good, and break your habits of feeling down, thinking that the world is against you, and wallowing in self-pity.
Starting is never easy, which is why our Fresh Prep girls and guys prepared 5 simple ways you can show gratitude today!
No need to rush into anything! Start slow and express gratitude to someone, anyone. Say thank you to your friend for holding the door for you, thank the barista that made your coffee today,
or speak words of gratitude to your mom just for being your mom. The smiles on these people’s faces will warm you up and guarantee a good day ahead. Trust that you will get addicted to gratitude before you even get to the 5th tip on this list.
Actions speak louder than words! Anyone can say “I love you”, but not everyone will get their butt off the couch and take out the trash/walk the family dog/unload the dishwasher. Don’t wait for your loved ones to ask you to do something. Show initiative! Believe that they will appreciate your acts of kindness a lot more than they would if they had to ask first. You might even get some words of gratitude in return! The best thing about gratitude is that it’s like a boomerang; it always comes back.
It takes a strong person and great friend to offer a shoulder to cry on and be supportive in times of need. The same goes for celebrations! When your friend or family member is celebrating their success, celebrate with them. Do your best to share in that beautiful moment with your loved one. It might not be your victory, but you can still display gratitude. Be proud of your friend and let that feeling take over you.
It is very easy to lose touch with your feelings. You might forget what gratitude feels like because you’re so busy in your own whirlwind of thoughts, tasks, chores, and friends. Journal in an effort to reconnect with yourself. Every day, take some time to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. It may sound like a cliche, but journaling works wonders. Once you get into the groove of expressing gratitude, you will find more things to be grateful for.
It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive! It’s not about the size of the gift, but rather the gesture. Your sister, teacher, friend, or colleague will be very pleasantly surprised, even if your gift is just a small box of chocolates. Gift giving is one of the easiest ways to let someone know that you care about them. Remember that it’s never about the money and it’s always about the thought behind it. Besides, what can top the feeling you get after receiving a spontaneous gift?!