Week 1 Days

Cultivate Gratitude | Day 5

What if you could shift your perspective by choosing gratitude in every moment?

I know pretty much every self-help pundit has talked about the importance of gratitude, so bear with me. There’s a good reason cultivating gratitude is such a common piece of advice—and it has too many benefits to pass up or pooh-pooh. Gratitude has the power to increase our decision-making abilities, because it puts us in a state of clarity and ease, which helps us gain clarity on what’s really going on rather than get caught in kneejerk emotional responses. Gratitude has the power to reduce stress, help us bounce back from adversity, and generally view our lives through a lens of joy and peace.

I will be the first to admit that gratitude doesn’t always come easy. But you don’t need to be an affirmation-spouter or the most cheerful person in the world to find something you are grateful for. People who think about, talk about, and act from a place of gratitude usually feel better about their lives and more optimistic about meeting challenges. Gratitude is a practice that helps put you in the driver’s seat while also making you feel connected to the beautiful things in your life that you might not even see or otherwise take for granted.

Activity

Practice gratitude daily. For some people, journaling is helpful. Personally, I prefer thinking about ten things I appreciated about my day right before going to sleep. But the purpose of this activity isn’t to come up with some gigantic list of how awesome everything is, especially not on those days when nothing feels awesome. It’s to find that place in yourself where you can really pause to appreciate your life. This might mean spending time talking to someone who makes you feel joyful and serene. It could also just be admiring the sunset while thinking about people you love. Maybe it’s about looking at the aspects of your life that feel shitty and noticing the lessons and silver linings. Whatever the case, I promise you that gratitude is contagious; once you start thinking about and practicing it, you will become more adept at cultivating it—not just in good times, but also in the more challenging moments that are sure to crop up.

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