How to Practice Gratitude on the Daily

by Lieve Falck-Pedersen

All too often our minds jump to the negative- to the things that have gone wrong, or could go wrong, or to the things that we simply aren’t satisfied with. Well, with the new year officially here and started, it’s time to change that. Rather than engulfing our minds with the possibility of failure or defeat, it’s time to focus on the good things we have in our lives and the things around us that bring joy and happiness. We know that this may seem like a lot to do, and let’s be real- it is. So today eco18 is bringing you three easy-to-do daily habits that will help you learn to practice gratitude.

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal: Before you get stressed about having to write a novel every night, hear us out. Every day before you head to bed, we recommend keeping a small notebook in which you write the date along with three positive things that happened to you that day. They don’t have to be big things, just things that were uplifting or spirit-boosting. By keeping a gratitude journal you will not only be able to look back over the years at the small things you might not have remembered happening to you, but you will be forcing yourself to search for the good and to recall the positive.
  2. Say ‘I Love You’: Sometimes these three simple words are enough to completely change our outlook on the world around us, and can have a significant impact on the receivers of these words as well. If you are having a day in which you are feeling pessimistic about the going on’s in your life, shoot your parents, grandparents, friends- basically anyone- a text telling them you love them. You will be astounded by the response you get back and the realization that you will have when your impact on others is appreciated. So we challenge you: whenever you’re feeling down, remember to tell others why you appreciate them. We guarantee the response will impact you and your loved ones.
  3. Learn How to Give Back: A common joke nowadays goes along with the phrase “first-world problems.” These problems tend to include things along the lines of cracked iPhones, a dress being in the wrong size, and worst of all no wifi *dun dun dunnnnn*. And while these common complaints are valid in today’s day and age, we must remind ourselves that getting upset over these issues pale in comparison to the struggles millions of people in the world face on a day to day basis. So to better appreciate the life you were given, and to learn how to practice gratitude on a day to day basis you must educate yourself. Educate yourself on local issues that families are facing, or global issues that are impacting entire nations. And once you’re done educating yourself the next step is getting involved. From volunteering at local food banks to donating old clothes to homeless shelters, recognizing the difficulties of others and teaching yourself how to give is one of the absolute most important ways to better appreciate the small things.

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