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Learn To Be More Grateful and Feel Thankful In Life

6 minute read

Emotions were always challenging to share with others and even myself. All that changed since I started practicing slow living because I made time to work on living a life I enjoy. I mention this because this article is on how to be more grateful in life. The cornerstone of how to do that is to be able to get in touch with yourself emotionally.

We cannot be grateful without recognizing positive emotions, feelings, and relevant experiences that occur in our life. The best way to experience gratefulness is by sharing our feelings and interacting with others.

Gratitude is being thankful for something and appreciating the experience of being thankful.

To me, being grateful means being thankful for something and appreciating the opportunity to experience being thankful. Learning how to genuinely be grateful each day is one of the main reasons I can say I love my life.

This is a short article and quick read, but give these practical ideas on how to be more grateful a chance. You may be surprised by how awesome they make you feel.

6 Ways To Be More Grateful In Life

The ability to indeed be grateful is the gift that keeps on giving. I hope these ideas are helpful and spark your own ideas for a grateful life.

1. Realize Life Is A Gift

Honestly, I almost left this section out of the essay because it is so personal and meaningful to me. Still, I want my content to reveal my personal thoughts, so now I put this first.

Over the years of practicing slow living, I have worked on getting in touch with what I want out of life, becoming ok with who I am, and learning to be grateful for everything.

During all the exercises and experiences, I realized that life is fleeting. We are here, live, and then leave. I am ok with this process.

But, it made me realize that life truly is a gift.

For all the bullshit we seem to worry about, see on the news, and witness going on, we are all here for a brief period, and then we are gone.

Within that context, I am genuinely grateful for my time. I spent many years looking at the bottom of a bottle and living on autopilot. But I am thankful that I now appreciate and respect my life, and I no longer take it for granted.

I know this may sound corny to many, but the more I explore my emotions and how I feel about things in life, the more I appreciate things. You may feel this way too.

Try to sit back and think about how temporary life is and what a wonderful gift we have been given. Honestly, reflect on how wonderful and unique life is. Then, don’t waste it. Be grateful.

2. Write Feelings Down

I have always believed the best way for something to become real is to write it down. We write to-do and grocery lists but often do not consider writing down our thoughts and emotions.

When we are grateful for something, we should write it down on paper and make it real. We don’t have to keep a fancy bullet journal, just write it on scrap paper and then toss it out if you want. Or you can create a blog like I did, lol.

The actual process of writing it down makes it real. And no, this is not bullshit, I swear, lol.

It actually is something I do all the time.

When I get home from buying groceries, sometimes I’ll write on the back of the receipt that I am grateful for being able to purchase these items and looking forward to dinner. Then I throw it out.

Actually, noticing a time when you are grateful is a special event. Write it down to make it real.

3. Set Gentle Goals

In a past life, it was common for me to set too many unrealistic goals, which caused me to constantly go back and adjust, which was always deflating emotionally.

With slow living, I learned to set “gentle” goals. These plans perfectly balance my ability to achieve them with still pushing myself enough to advance and keep things interesting.

When these goals are achieved, I then set new ones and then achieve those goals. This successful pattern leads to a series of accomplishments that make me feel good. When I feel good about my accomplishments, I am grateful for the things I have done.

I believe that setting “gentle” goals is essential in slow living and leads to grateful emotions for me.

4. Be More Generous

I think grateful people give more. When I am generous to others, I feel better about who I am. When I feel good about myself, I am more likely to be helpful to others.

This is a win-win pattern.

One form of being generous to others is when we show our gratitude to someone in a genuine way. Here are some examples:

  • Tell them you are grateful for their help when someone does you a favor.
  • Become a better listener when you have a conversation and show that you understand what they are saying; be empathetic.
  • Spontaneously do kind things. The other evening I bought a small pack of Oreo cookies while walking to my hotel for an after-dinner treat. I walked by a couple with a small child who stopped with a big smile and waved. I waved back and handed over the Oreos. Everyone smiled, and I walked to my hotel feeling happy and grateful for the experience.
  • Help someone with a grocery bag or by putting their luggage in the overhead compartment for them.

The act of being generous is connected with being grateful.

When you make it a point to be more generous with your time and kindness, I promise you will feel thankful for the experience.

5. Appreciate Your Health

This section is not long, but it is essential and self-explanatory.

If you are fortunate enough to have good health, be grateful for that.

As I write about in Why I Choose To Live Slow, there was a point not too long ago when I was in poor physical and mental health. I am grateful to be on the other side of those issues.

I encourage you to make your mental and physical wellness a priority in life. When you have your health, be grateful.

6. Say Hello & Thank You

There is a theory called the Butterly Effect, which suggests that a tiny change in one area of our life can eventually lead to a significant difference in all life.

If that theory is true, imagine what would happen if the world’s population started saying Hello to each other and thank you when applicable?

As an introvert, I started forcing myself several years ago to say hi to people daily. What surprised me was not that it became easier to meet people (which it was) but that it always put me in a good mood.

Same with saying thank you to people.

I say hello and thank you with a big smile, and the people on the receiving end almost always respond with a big smile.

It is a simple thing yet significantly impacts my day; big smiles. Imagine if the world started doing that.

Reflecting on each day and remembering the hellos and thank you conversations genuinely makes me feel warm inside because I am grateful for my day.

Closing Thoughts

If you can feel grateful for things in life, you are blessed.

Scores are still living on autopilot and going about their day, oblivious to the fantastic and beautiful things around them.

Once I was ok with being emotional and able to talk about and explore my feelings, I could fully embrace being grateful for the things in my life.

It is quite a feeling.

I hope these simple ideas to be more grateful were helpful. There are millions of ways to be thankful for things, so come up with your and let me know how they worked.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Below is some footer stuff to consider.