This year has certainly proven that life is truly a surprise. At the beginning of the year, we made plans—a birthday party with family, some friends and colleagues, a weekend getaway, an overseas trip, and a morning or early afternoon coffee run; these were just some of the many things we looked forward to doing.
Yet sadly, as the months unfolded, all these plans were put on hold. Having a grateful attitude amid everything that is happening now can be difficult. Nevertheless, no matter how difficult it is, it is still doable.
Having an attitude of gratitude
Several research has proven that having an attitude of gratitude, and specifically writing them down do wonders to your mental, emotional, and overall physical health. Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami conducted a research between two groups.
The first group wrote about the things they were grateful for, while the other wrote about life’s struggles or negatives. After 10 weeks, the group who wrote about what they were grateful for were happier and healthier.
Aside from being vocal, writing down the things we are thankful for each day is a good way to practice a gratitude attitude. It can be done in a variety of ways; some prefer doing it online, others opt for making a collage of photos, or you can also try the old-school pen and paper approach.
You have the freedom to choose when to do it, during the day, in the middle of the day, or at night before going to bed. The idea is to turn it into a habit, and begin today. If you are unsure about how to start your gratitude list, read on and take a cue from this list.
How to Make a Gratitude List
Setting aside life’s hurdles, there are still many things we can be thankful for. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, on-time train or bus, your favorite song being played on the radio, a smile from a stranger, and the gift of life—these might seem minuscule at times, but they are still worth being grateful for.
Your gratitude list can include anything and everything you experienced. Here are some things to remember when making a gratitude list:
- Keep it short
- Be true
- Document it
No matter how big or small the experience was, if it made you happy, it is worth giving thanks for; take a photo, a video, or write it down to remember and in the future, relive this experience.
- Share it
- No pressure
Things to be grateful for
As much as we plan our day, there will be times, a lot to be exact, when our plans won’t go exactly as we planned it to be.
Nevertheless, there’s no harm in trying to stay on the sunny side of things. These are 10 no-fail happiness pills, which we can all be thankful for:
- Waking up on the right side of the bed
No matter how long or short your sleep is, a good mood to start the day leads to a more positive day ahead.
- A good cup of iced coffee (or any drink you prefer)
Whether it’s a very hot or cold day, indulging in a not-too-sweet and not-too-bitter cup of iced Americano can instantly brighten one’s day.
- Your favorite upbeat song on the radio
It’s one thing to hear your favorite song from your playlist, but it’s a different kind of surprise and happiness when you randomly stumble upon your favorite song on the radio. Imagine how many people like this song too, and are also enjoying the moment just like you.
- A good meal
Whether you have a full day ahead, or a more relaxed day at home, a good meal can instantly brush off the negatives. It also gives you the energy to continue your day, on a hopefully, a more positive note.
- A photo or video of your favorite nephew or niece (or your favorite person)
Nothing beats hearing your baby nephew or niece laugh out loud. A baby’s laugh is infectious. The innocence and pure joy they have over the most random things can instantly uplift anyone’s mood.
- A compliment
It’s always nice to be complimented, which usually happens on the most unexpected day and for the most random reason. Return the favor, put a smile on another person’s face and make them have something to be thankful for.
- Your favorite TV show
Bored at home or tired from work? There’s nothing like a good couch-potato day can’t fix. These shows are your escape when things get a bit too much to handle, they deserve being thanked.
Food in general brings a lot of positive things for our mind and body. Desert isn’t for everyone and should not be taken in large amounts; But it can certainly turn a frown upside down, even with just a spoon or two.
- Good jokes
Jokes no matter how cringy they get at times can help release endorphins, which are responsible for relieving stress and pain; that should be thanked for.
It is not easy to maneuver life, and yet here you are still trying; that alone is worth being grateful for.