I love this time of year. The holiday season reminds us all of the importance of family and of counting our many blessings. Whenever we tap into the power of gratitude, we feel happier and more fulfilled. Even if we're striving to reach new goals in our lives, feeling gratitude can make us all realize how rich we are at this very moment.
It's easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of life and forget how lucky you are. If you want to increase your sense of gratitude and appreciation for your life, try these 11 gratitude practices.
1. Keep a journal of everything you're grateful for.
Every morning, take five minutes to list everything you are grateful for in a journal. Not only will you be surprised by how much you appreciate in your life right now, you'll get an immediate mood boost. Immersing your mind in all the good stuff fills you up with contentment.
2. Create gratitude folders.
Have a bulletin board where you put up tiny reminders that make you feel grateful. A handwritten letter from a friend, a thank-you note from a client, or a card from your spouse. At the end of the year, put all of those items into a folder so you can review your year and see firsthand how blessed you are.
3. Practice gratitude with your family.
Establish your own gratitude practice as a family at mealtime. Go around the table and talk about the best part of your day, what you feel most grateful for or share a personal win. I love how you can show your kids that you are grateful for people and moments instead of material items
4. Try a gratitude reminder.
Connect your gratitude to a daily habit. List the things you are grateful for when you're doing something that you do every day, like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting dressed or pulling out of your driveway.
5. Go small.
It's easy to appreciate the big stuff — a baby, the new car, or a promotion — but it takes a little effort to notice all the tiny things. Go small with your gratitude daily and notice the tiny things that bring you joy. A warm cup of coffee. Someone's smile. Fresh sheets on your bed. The sound of rain falling. The smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in your house. Sunshine. A new shirt. If you practice scanning for the little things that you appreciate, you just might be connecting to gratitude all day long.
6. Send out one email daily.
Send out one thank-you email to someone every day. It can be short. This small act alone could change your relationships and your life.
7. Pay attention to the best moment of your day.
What was the best thing that happened to you all day? Capture it in your gratitude journal. Imagine how you'll feel when you flip the pages and read all of your daily highlights, one after another.
8. Know your most valued treasures.
When asked, we all know what's most important to us in life. Make sure you're spending enough time connecting to what's most important to you. Don't put off until you're less busy the things you value.
9. Use challenges to appreciate the now.
We always have more gratitude when we are facing a personal challenge or a difficult time. You don't have to dwell on negative moments from your past, but use them to really appreciate how things are better now.
10. Go to bed filled with gratitude.
If you want to sleep well, put your mind in a positive place at bedtime. Without trying too hard, think of the things you feel appreciative of at day's end. It's a wonderful way to drift off to sleep.
11. Be present.
Consciously choosing to be present and in the moment can automatically make you live with more gratitude because you are living with more awareness. Fully take in your beautiful life by noticing everything.
With these 11 practices, you will flood your mind with all the positive of your life and know that your life is abundant.
Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. She's the author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, April 2016). Fauzia has promoted the books of authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. A nationally recognized speaker and online marketing expert, Fauzia writes for regularly the Huffington Post. For online marketing, book publishing and social media advice, follow Fauzia on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on the book, please visit FauziaBurke.com.