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November is a month when people often think about things they are grateful for. We are filled with gratitude for friends and family as we gather around good food and build great memories with those we love. What a shame for the conversation about gratitude to be contained to one month of the year. Have you ever thought about how we can be intentional about practicing gratitude all year long?
Benefits of Gratitude
Did you know that there are physical and mental health benefits to gratitude? Not only is it a biblical principle, which we always love at the Farmer house, but there is science behind the benefits of gratitude as well – a lot of it! Grateful people are overall happier and more joyful. So many studies show that gratitude increases our personal sense of well-being and helps relationships feel more positive and secure. In addition, gratitude can lead to us being more generous, energized, empathetic, and resilient. These benefits happen when we change our perspective and shift our focus to what we have in our lives instead of what we lack. This simple perspective-shifting practice can genuinely transform our lives.
In this post-pandemic world, we all worry a little more than before. Still, we can trade our worries for gratefulness regularly and see incredible results. Regular gratitude combats stress, anxiety, depression, comparison, and isolation and can even improve our sleep quality. Doesn’t this sound too good to be true to realize all these benefits from a simple practice of thinking about what we’re thankful for? Maybe … but it’s a real thing! So I challenge you to try it, and I want to help!
10 Best Ways to Practice Gratitude
Below are some of my favorite ways to practice gratitude regularly. Pick a few that stand out to you, and just get started. See if you can do them every day this month. Not only do I know you can do it, but I also know it will improve your outlook and so many other areas of your life.
1. Say three things you are grateful for every morning before getting out of bed.
2. Keep a gratitude journal by your bed and daily journal things you are thankful for.
3. Incorporate gratitude into your nightly routine with your spouse and kids. Tell each other what you are grateful for that day, and be sure to include specifics about them once in a while. We like to do this over family dinners; here are a few of my best tips for How to Have Fun Family Dinners.
4. Write a handwritten thank you note and send it in the mail.
5. Call someone and tell them you are thankful for them.
6. Regularly pray as a family and express gratitude for creation, loved ones, experience, and all else.
7. Create a “thank you” culture in your home where family members are regularly thanked for their efforts.
8. Be grateful throughout the day. Take time to reflect and express gratitude when something good happens.
9. Get a gratitude jar where family members can write things they are grateful for and drop them in regularly. (Pro-Tip – if you’re having a bad day, pull a few out and read them!)
10. Stop and enjoy the small things in life. Take a walk and savor the beauty of nature and God’s creation all around us.
Start Today Practicing Gratitude
As I said, choose a couple that stands out to you, and get started! Try them for a month and see what happens. Don’t judge yourself. Be grateful for whatever you feel thankful for at the moment. Include the small and big things, and you will begin to notice more and more things to be grateful for in your life. Above all else, keep going! It might seem like it’s not making a difference initially, but don’t quit. You are retraining your mind to see the world more positively. It takes time, but it’s so worth it! If you stick to it, I know you will be pleasantly surprised with your new outlook on life. Also, if you want more encouragement to practice gratitude, here are 10 Best Bible Verses to help you practice gratitude.
I’d love to hear about all the changes you experience as you begin to implement some of my best ways to practice gratitude regularly. Will you let me know? Comment below or tag me on social @Ourfarmerhouse. I’d love to share your journey with you!