Exercise Gratitude, Uncover Happiness

It can be so easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we haven’t accomplished, and what we want next. In our commercialized culture, we’re bombarded by messages of “more, more, more” every single day. Even a holiday dubbed “Thanksgiving” has become synonymous with flash sales and all-night shopping marathons. Those feelings lead you nowhere. It’s time to turn those negative, never satisfied feelings into something that serves you better: feelings of gratitude.

“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude”

– Steve Maraboli

It’s been said that gratitude turns what we have into enough. An interesting thing happens when we begin to unplug from consumerism and focus instead on the present. Suddenly our possessions are more beautiful, our friends more precious, our privileges more apparent, and we see our world with a bit more clarity.

There are many resources available to help you cultivate gratitude in your life. You just need to seek out what works best for you. So, to help get you started, here are a few of our favorites:

Journal
Begin every morning by putting pen to paper to list five things for which you’re grateful. Don’t worry about being repetitive or grandiose, just list the first five things that come to mind. Not only will those things seem even sweeter for the rest of the day, but you’ll begin to notice more things to add to your list all the time.

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Give Back
Donating your money or, even more impactful, your time has the two-fold benefit of helping someone else while also giving you a broader perspective of your own blessings. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or retirement home and you’ll enjoy the warm glow that comes from contributing to your community.

Meditate
Take five minutes each day to close your eyes and turn inward. Take stock of your emotional and physical states, and, while breathing deeply and calmly, reflect on the people and things you are grateful for. Allow yourself to fully feel your emotions. The benefits of this positive and relaxing time may just make it one of your favorite daily rituals.

What practices do you use to keep your desires in-check and your heart full of gratitude? Share with us by commenting below or tag us on social using #LIFCommunity #mindfulnessmonday

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