20 ways to practice gratitude for a happier life

Local Mum and holistic therapist Evi Achillea has some tips about coping with stress and anxiety

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Stress is a common feature of modern life and is therefore something everyone experiences.

Nobody is born knowing how to handle stress and , as there is no immunity from it, the best way to protect the body from the harmful effects of stress is to learn how to manage it.

Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think and how you think.

When you're thankful and grateful for what you have, you are always reward with more. Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want in your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things including higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness and optimism.

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunity into blessings" - William Arthur

Ways to practice gratitude for a happier life

Write a letter or note of thanks
People enjoy opening them and it’s a thoughtful gesture to acknowledge people for what they bring to your life.

Recognize each day as a gift
“Each new day is a blessing because we are still here and can, if we choose, make the most of the day and enjoy life’s many pleasures.

Keep a gratitude journal
Writing down what we are grateful for each day, helps us focus on all we have in life rather than on what we are lacking.

Enjoy the beauty of nature
Technology can consume us – ipads, ipods, TV, and computers. Putting them aside to notice the beauty of nature by going for a walk, a hike and even a drive is good for the soul. The ocean, trees, flowers, and animals can all have a calming effect and help us to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.

Take nothing for granted
Who or what may you be taking for granted? We can easily fall into a routine and neglect what’s important around us. For example, health is one thing we may take for granted. Every day is a blessing when we wake up feeling well, with no pain in our bodies. Some people never experience this. If you are taking your health for granted, it is the first thing that, when it goes, we want it back with all your heart. Similar to losing a loved one and wishing we had told them how we really felt, or treated them better.

Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries
A simple phone call, card, or e-mail will make that person feel appreciated and special. Life’s circumstances can be unpleasant at times and to celebrate another person’s special day is something joyful and within our control.

Recognize how good things really are 
We all have our daily frustrations. Maybe we are 
unhappy with our job and long for a change, or are in an unfulfilling relationship. These are things within our personal control to change. Every day is a new start, a new beginning .

Celebrate each moment of your life
Expressing gratitude brings us into the moment, making us aware of all there is to celebrate in life. These moments are the ones where we are soaking in a sunrise, sunset or a full moon, and not thinking about anything else except its beauty and how good we feel in that moment. We can have many moments like this, if we let ourselves. As Louis Armstrong sang soulfully, “And I think to myself, What a wonderful world; Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world.”

Remember: There is nothing lacking
Our minds tend to lean towards what we are lacking in life instead of all the abundance that exists around us. We may not see it because we are not necessarily looking for it, but to become more conscious of all we have in life, can mean the difference between feeling miserable or content.

Use gratitude in tough times
In tough times, it’s harder to see the good amidst our troubles. Practicing gratitude in difficult times can reverse situations because it gives us a new perspective, helping us to see opportunities that we didn’t see before. No matter how hard the past you can always begin again.

Count your blessings, literally
Find a quiet spot and take the challenge of writing down about things you feel blessed to have in your life. You can even kick-off your gratitude journal with this list. If you need help finding things to be grateful for, think about what you may be taking for granted like a hot shower, the house you live in, good friends, clean water, your pet, etc. Creating this list of blessings is a powerful exercise because as you write down all that you are grateful for, negative feelings dissolve as happier feelings rise-up. 

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu

Write positive notes
To help keep the feeling of gratefulness alive and part of your day, write little positive notes, poems, gratitude quotes and leave them in a plain sight. Even for strangers you can place a note in a library book, or on a car window shield. Something as small as this gesture can make a huge difference in someone’s day.

Begin and end your day with gratitude
This simple practice sets our intention of goodness and abundance at the start and end of the day. We tend to wake up and think about all there is to do and end our days with what we didn’t get to or need to do next. Instead, think about all the good the day can bring and then end of the day thinking about all the good that happened.

Raise a happier child
Raising children to be grateful and express this gratefulness will make them happier. You can teach them to send thank you notes for gifts received, to express thanks to their teachers, or simply say thank you more often. Sharing thanks around the dinner table each night is another way to build the gratitude muscle as a family.

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ~Marianne Williamson

Evi Achillea, 
Handy Therapies

For more information or advice, please contact:
Evi Achillea 
Handy Therapies
Tel: 07528337068
Email: evi73@hotmail.co.uk

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