When we feel grateful, our health and happiness instantly improve. As such, gratitude is featured as a powerful tool in my eBook, “33 Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life.”
In that free guide, I recommend thinking of five things that you appreciate in your life right now. That simple exercise can help you shift to a positive mindset in minutes. [For help, check out “10 Guaranteed Sources of Gratitude.”]
If you want to go even deeper, I share two additional tools that not only enhance your gratitude, but also help you feel loved and supported. Such positive feelings naturally lead to more joy. I hope the following gratitude tools will lift you up during these challenging times.
Create a Gratitude Folder or Gratitude Display
I learned about these easy tools many years ago. I am so glad I did! They are incredibly simple, yet offered me so much comfort during the most difficult times of my life (i.e. after several deaths, during my divorce, and while navigating online dating).
All you need to do is assemble meaningful items into a colorful folder. Or, if you are working with larger, three-dimensional objects, you can set up a display of those items in a location where you can view them easily. That’s it!
Whenever you need to remember how special and loved you are, you just open up your folder or look at your display. As I mentioned in “How to Create a Healing Space,” I keep my Gratitude Folder and several Gratitude Displays prominently in my healing space so they can support me daily.
Like your healing space, your personal gratitude items will vary based on what is most important to you. Following are some suggested items for lifting your spirits:
- Meaningful cards
- Drawings from the children in your life
- Favorite quotes
- Emails of praise from coworkers or clients
- Artwork that you are proud of
- Keepsakes from special events (graduations, first dates, birthday parties, concerts, or theater visits)
Go On a Gratitude Tour
The only thing more powerful than feeling grateful is sharing that gratitude with others. I personally feel like cards are an extra special means of letting someone know you appreciate them [Mom & Dad taught me that]. Yet, in these busy times, all forms of communication work. Sending a text, email, or other digital message, or reaching out with a phone call, goes a long way to make another person feel special. When we do that the love and joy multiply.
I used to send out Valentine’s to my most cherished friends, loved ones, and especially the children in my life. I also took Thanksgiving as an opportunity to reach out to the people in my life who had been particularly supportive that year.
However, we certainly don’t need to wait for holidays to extend our gratitude to others. We can all start out on a Gratitude Tour today by making a list of all of the people who have loved and supported us in our lives, and then committing to letting them know how we feel about them.
I have decided this year to dig deep and start thinking about all the people who have touched me, even in the smallest of ways. As I mentioned in my book, “Online Dating for Sensitive Women,” there were people in my life who supported me just by modeling what a genuine loving relationship looked like. I am going to be sending all of those people, and anyone who helped me through my darkest times, “Thank You” messages to let them know how much their examples and efforts meant to me. I am already excited about how much joy this is guaranteed to bring me.
Gratitude for YOU!
We are all bombarded by messages telling us we do not have enough, or even that we are not enough. Yet, we can quickly shift from a feeling of lack to a recognition that we have all that we need, including an abundant amount of love all around us. Never underestimate your place in this world! You matter, and so do all the people who love and support you. Please consider spreading more love and joy by thanking someone today. Start with yourself. I am thankful for you!
The Greater Good Science Center frequently features research that proves gratitude works. Learn more at https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/
This series of posts is part of my commitment to supporting you in Finding Joy in Challenging Times. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend! If there is someone you would like to give a public shout-out, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
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