Gratitude means thankfulness. It is a way of appreciating what you have instead of always complaining about what you do not have.
But, it is the most ignored aspect of life. In this super-competitive world, anger, frustration, envy, and fear are the most prevalent emotions among individuals.
Gratitude is a quality that exists between each one of us. You need to awaken and develop it, to transform your life.
In this article, we will discuss how to practice one different gratitude technique each day for seven days. It will rewire your brain. Your perspective about yourself and the world around you will change completely.
What is the Science behind Gratitude?
Gratitude is a widely researched topic in psychology and behavioral sciences.
Here are a few scientific facts about gratitude:
- It helps in strengthening social and personal relationships.
- Women easily express gratitude as compared to men.
- It also makes you happy, boosts productivity, and improves physical and mental health.
- It lowers cholesterol and stress levels and improves sleep.
- It helps you to make better financial decisions.
- It promotes inner peace.
With so many benefits, many wellness experts recommend their clients to practice gratitude regularly. It is fast becoming part of various therapies.
Types of Gratitude
Gratitude can either be specific or general.
Specific gratitude: When gratitude is expressed towards a specific individual, who has done something good for you.
General gratitude: When gratitude is expressed towards the world, or a deity, for everything in life.
How to Get Started with Gratitude?
Maintaining a Gratitude Journal
Maintain a gratitude journal to record your experiences at the end of each day. Spare a few minutes every night to write down your daily activities and feelings. Do this for seven days. Then repeat the challenge for the next seven days again. You should continue the process for at least four weeks.
Journaling also helps to lower stress levels and improves the quality of sleep.
If you want to take up the gratitude challenge, then you have to do it consistently. The first week is the most important as you rewire your brain for a new activity. Do not follow the challenge half-heartedly or skip days. It will send signals to your brain that practicing gratitude is not an important task to be converted into a habit.
People with negative thinking may find it difficult to follow. But, you can overcome this with regular practice.
Hence, follow the challenge for seven days to create a never-ending cycle of gratitude in your life.
Let us discuss each day in detail now.
Day 1: Count Your Blessings
Notice all the things that make your life easy or happy from the time you wake up till you go to bed. Keep your mind open and try to notice as many things as you can.
You can be grateful for:
- Being alive to enjoy one more day.
- Running water in your shower.
- The aroma of your morning coffee.
- Friendly and helpful people you encounter throughout the day.
- Beautiful flowers and trees in the garden.
- Your chair, laptop, and cell phone that makes your life easy.
The above list is only an example. At the end of the day, record three things for which you are most grateful.
Day 2: Make Someone Feel Special
Look for ways to help and make others happy. By being kind to others your heart will be filled with joy. But, do not throw false compliments. Be genuine.
A few things you can do to make someone happy:
- Send a short message to a friend for holding a special place in your life.
- Be polite to a salesperson at the shop, and also thank him for his services.
- Compliment and thank your co-worker for his support.
- Help an elderly across the street.
Day 3: Create Positivity
Everyone encounters negativity daily. It could be either in the form of situations or people who surround us. Try to look for the positive in the negative. It can be a lesson that you can learn from that situation or any positive trait that you can acquire.
- If you met with an accident, then thank god that you are safe and alive.
- It is very frustrating to be surrounded by a person who finds fault in everything. But, there may be some good quality in that person also, such as he may be an animal lover.
Day 4: Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements that are said repeatedly to reprogram your brain to believe them.
Choose two or three affirmations and repeat them throughout the day. Affirmations should be in the present tense and said with full faith.
A few examples are:
- I am grateful for everything in my life.
- I am grateful for my good health.
- My life is full of abundance.
- I am grateful for my loved ones who support and love me.
You can also search for more gratitude affirmations on the internet.
Day 5: Negative Visualization
In this, you will imagine the worst scenario that can happen to you. Sit in a relaxed position with eyes closed. You can imagine losing everything you have, the death of your loved one or your own. You will immediately be grateful for all the things you have now.
Day 6: Live with Minimalism for a Day
Live with only the essential stuff for one day. You will focus on what matters. You will be able to get out of the continuous cycle of materialism and feel happy.
Here are a few suggestions of simple things you can focus on:
- Dress simply and do not spend too much time on a regular beauty routine.
- Do not purchase food. Cook whatever you have.
- Go for a walk.
- Spend time with family.
- Do not play video games or use social media.
This activity will make you appreciate your blessings in your life that you take for granted.
Day 7: Mindful Observation and Admiration
Notice the special qualities of people you encounter.
Here are a few examples you can follow:
- Polite smile of a salesperson or a waiter with which they serve you.
- The loving and caring attitude of a mother.
- Your colleague’s working under pressure and helping others ability.
- Positive traits of your family members to maintain their calm even if there are several ups and downs.
Gratitude can create magic in your life. The above-mentioned 7-day challenge is your first step to practicing gratitude. Keep repeating it unless it becomes a habit. You can also start practicing only one form with which you are more comfortable. The main focus is to build a new habit, to live a fulfilling life.
Have you ever practiced gratitude in your life?
If not, will you now work to make it your habit?
Please share your views it in the comments below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Preeti Shah
Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on November 19, 2020:
Thank you Amit.
Yes acknowledging what we are blessed with is the real key to happiness.
Amit Masih from Jaipur, India on November 19, 2020:
Being grateful for what we have is the key to a happy life. You have effectively explained this article. I am so grateful to read it.