Too often we focus on what we haven't got and what we think we need. Being reminded to be grateful for what we already have can create more happiness than any 'new' thing could possibly bring.
My exploration of minimalist living has encouraged a sense of appreciation for all the things I am blessed to already have. It has reminded me to enjoy the little things and take pride in the items that bring me joy. More is not more ... in fact, more can lead to a sense of overwhelm, entitlement and even greed. Have you ever noticed that those who have plenty, are always wanting more, and those those who have so little, always find something to spare.
So what does having gratitude actually look like ... and how can we be sure we are practicing it in our daily lives. Well, this is something I have thought a lot about lately, it's something that I am very passionate about. Not only for my own values and happiness in life, but also for my girls and their outlook on life.
Here are three ways to ensure that you practice gratitude in your everyday;
1. Notice. Take notice of the little things. A bird flying in the sky, the feeling of sunshine on your skin, or the grass under your feet. There is so much wonderment around us, but our busy schedules tend to have us rushing by without seeing it. Slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and how lucky we are to be a part of it.
2. Journal. Take a moment each day to think about what you are grateful for. This can be as simple as thinking about something wonderful that happened in your day as you fall off to sleep. Or you might like to start a gratitude journal which allows you to write down and reflect each day, on what you are most grateful for. Either way, it's about making a conscious decision to focus on the good and positive of our lives.
3. Pay it forward. If you open yourself up to it, there are opportunities to perform random acts of kindness each and every day. Doing something kind for someone without expecting anything in return is a powerful tool in recognizing our own good fortune. These acts can be as little or as grand as you want them to be. Smiling at a stranger, holding a door open for someone, paying for a strangers coffee, or going out of your way to make someone feel noticed. These are all amazing ways to show kindness, without needing something in return.
Gratitude is a way of appreciating the life we have, whilst recognizing that others may not be as fortunate. It can not be measured, nor can it be forced upon us. It is a feeling that must be learnt, encouraged and nurtured, and will bring the deepest and most sincere happiness to those who show it.
Thank you so much for reading.