Ladies (and gents): it's time to get more grateful! I so wholeheartedly believe that it's important to always take note of the blessings we've been given while we look towards a bright future. Here are a few easy hacks I've found in terms of focusing on being internally grateful and allowing that feeling to radiate on the outside.
1. Journaling. If you haven't already, you should buy either a pre-made gratitude journal (available at most novelty/stationery shops) or create a journal that you use for daily gratitude journaling. Taking time to account for your daily blessings can increase your level of overall happiness. Right now, I've taken to journaling the different ways that I've overcome my fears (a source of gratitude for me).
2. Stop complaining. Easier said than done (and I totally feel it - I'm Ms. Complainer!). It's really better not to complain, and when we notice ourselves delving deeper into that negative space in our minds, it's best to take a step back and redirect our negative thoughts to positive ones.
3. Reflect upon the past. Now while you don't want to get too consumed with the past, reflecting upon your past and the things that have happened to you that were tougher than what your current trials are can help you gain some perspective and exercise further gratitude.
4. Think of those less fortunate than you. I think this is one of my favorite methods to increase my level of gratitude. Reminding myself that I am able to make do with what I have (which is a lot, I'll be honest) is key - and honoring those who don't have enough helps. Make a donation to someone less fortunate, perhaps they're riddled with ill health or rebuilding their life after a natural disaster.
5. Call someone and tell them how much they mean to you. This is a beneficial source of gratitude, both for you and for someone else. Not only can this make you more grateful, it can also bring about stronger happiness. Just take a look at this experiment:
6. Switch your mindset. Similar to the ways we outwardly complain, a negative mindset is a form of internal complaints.If you find yourself in a negative thought process (perhaps you're sick of sitting in this 4 hour long meeting), focus on something positive (like that big lunch you're going to enjoy in just 30 minutes). Simply redirecting can be helpful in acknowledging the good that is to come.
7. Do a good deed. Right along the lines of thinking of those less fortunate than you, instead of making a donation and quite honestly feeling much better about yourself, actually take the time out of your busy schedule to do a good deed--volunteer in a soup kitchen, animal shelter, you name it.
8. Just say "thank you". Among all these tips, the greatest thing you can do is JUST SAY THANKS! Every time someone completes a favor for you, say thanks. Same goes for people who you appreciate on the daily. Make it known that your life wouldn't be the same without them and that you are oh-so-happy they're your friend/loved one.
9. Read psychology books on gratitude. If you take the time to read and watch books and documentaries about gratitude and happiness, your conscience will pick up on the tips and tricks necessary to form a consistent grateful life. Immersing yourself in the material ought to leave an impression. "Happy" is one of my favorites (currently available on Netflix).
10. Live within your means. Another way to bring about gratitude is to live within your means--not buying that next expensive gadget just because you can, or living lavishly. Tom Shadyac has a phenomenal documentary "I Am" that explores our greedy world (and Hollywood) that hypes up financial gain over spiritual gain (also available on Netflix).