Feeling grateful just happens sometimes, but you can also make a special effort to increase how often you feel it.
People who regularly practise gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for are thought to experience more positive emotions, to feel more alive, to sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. These findings are illustrated in a feature on UC Davis Health.
How to practise gratitude: Experiencing more gratitude is easy and doesn’t take much time. It's a matter of finding out what works for you.
Keep a gratitude journal. Take five minutes each day or once a week to think of and write down three things that have happened to you since the previous day or week that you’re glad you experienced.
Take pictures. Set yourself a mission to photograph little things in your everyday life that make you smile.
Tell someone you’re grateful to have them in your life. Whether it’s someone you look up to, or someone who just makes you happy, take the time to tell them you’re glad they’re around.
You don’t have to think up loads of really significant things in order to be grateful. You can be grateful for the smallest things, such as the sunshine, your morning coffee, or the fact that you made it to your train on time.
Embrace those sudden moments of clarity and awareness - and start being one small part of life itself.