If you struggle with disappointment or sadness during the holiday season, it can seem as though nothing is fulfilling. Even if your life is going great, you’re not alone if you feel this way sometimes. Even successful people can find themselves feeling crushed by the winter season.
There are many strategies available to help you lift your spirits during the holiday season or any other time of year, and most have one key ingredient: gratitude. Research shows that practicing gratitude can rewire your brain and help boost your happiness.
By practicing gratitude, we take time to be in the present, make note of what we are appreciative and thankful for, and savor the time to enjoy it. If you’re ready to begin rewiring your brain, here’s 5 actionable ways you can make gratitude a part of your life.
- Small Steps
You don’t automatically get on a bike and know how to ride, and practicing gratitude is the same way. You’ll build more effective habits when you start small. Put your focus on appreciating one small thing each day instead of trying to shift your entire mindset all at once.
Your gratitude could be something simple such as a good cup of coffee, a lunch date with your best friend, hearing your favorite song in the car, or a sunny day.
When you take the time to practice your gratitude, be fully present in the moment and take in what it is you are grateful for and why you love it. When you start noticing the little details that you appreciate in daily life, you’ll begin to notice them more frequently. Your new habit will begin to feed itself more often throughout your day and your ability to practice gratitude will become automatic.
- Stop Playing the Comparison Game
It can be easy to compare ourselves to others, especially if we are consuming social media. When we stack ourselves against others, it becomes challenging to practice gratitude.
Learn to embrace yourself and what makes you unique. If you can stop yourself from comparing yourself to others, you’ll be more successful in your gratitude journey.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
Journaling can be a powerful way to practice gratitude. Writing down what you are thankful for will help you reflect on your past gratitudes on difficult days. Journaling is also a fantastic way to look back on the fun details of your life, either big or small.
Writing stuff down is known to help us remember things better. By journaling, it’ll be easier to recall all of the things that we appreciate throughout our day.