- Keep A Gratitude Journal
At the end of your day before you go to sleep, dedicate just a few minutes to making a short list of things you’re thankful for from that day. The point? The items in your gratitude journal don’t need to be huge, life-changing moments. The small things count too, and the daily exercise of writing them down can not only help you live in the present, but also boost your mood.
- Take A Gratitude Walk
In and of itself, physical activity is good for you. It’s called a gratitude walk, and all you need to do is take 15-20 minutes to go for a walk alone (so you have time and space to think). Spend that walk thinking about all of the aspects of your life you’re grateful for. It’s a surefire way to press pause and feel more appreciative of your life, regardless of how that day went.
- Express Gratitude Toward Others
As you’re refining your ability to feel appreciative of what’s happening in your life right now, keep in mind that gratitude goes furthest when it’s shared. It’s proof that an attitude of appreciation shouldn’t end with you. Take a look at the items in your gratitude journal—is there one that you should share? If so, tell that friend or colleague that you appreciated their advice, time, gesture or love - whatever it may be!
- Gratitude in the Tough Times
Layoffs, furloughs, or working for a company that’s on shaky footing are all anxiety-inducing situations, and it’s tough to find the silver lining as you’re trudging through those difficult circumstances. Practicing gratitude in these situations is going to require some extra commitment and maybe even some teeth gritting, but it’s still worth trying to find even the smallest things to be thankful for—like the friend who offered to make a valuable introduction, or the time to step back and reevaluate your career ambitions, or maybe it's simply the cup of coffee your flatmate made for you this morning.
There’s no doubt that it can be hard to appreciate the here and now. But, it’s important to remember that every step of your journey is an important one (yes, even the unexpected setbacks and disappointments). While a drive for the future can be a good thing, you don’t want to become so obsessed with where you’re going, that you forget to give yourself a pat on the back for where you already are. Sure, there’s plenty more you want to achieve, but you’ve worked hard to get where you are right now. Take the time to soak it all in with a sense of gratitude. You are wonderful, talented, loved, appreciated and enough.
Essential lessons from 2020:
Stand up for what is right
Prioritize your mental health
Being flexible brings success
Your voice makes a difference
Do not hide from your emotions
Hard moments do not last forever
Healing yourself makes life better
Pursue your goals no matter what
Embracing change eases your mind