According to Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, positive emotions wear off quickly. We respond excitedly to newness. So when new jobs become routine, romance turns to work, and moving to a new place turns into familiarity, we try to find novelty elsewhere. But the cycle repeats itself and feelings eventually wear off. Emmons discovered that this is why practicing gratitude is so important because it allows us to appreciate the present. Rather than becoming mere spectators and believing that the grass is always greener on the other side, gratitude pushes us to participate in our lives to find and celebrate the good times. Psych2Go shares with you 5 tips to practice gratitude to get through the day:
1. Spend time with loved ones.
When you hang out with people who see the best in you, it helps you build a higher sense of self-esteem. You begin to see yourself in a more positive light that allows you to unleash your true potential. You also become less critical and negative. As a result, it gets easier to accept your flaws and imperfections. More importantly, you remember not to take close supportive loved ones for granted. Even when you catch yourself having disagreements or arguments with them, the disappointment and anger eventually diminish when you just want to be there for them. Don’t lose sight on the big picture and make the most out of your time together.
2. Embrace your challenges rather than resisting them.
It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of your life when stressful events unfold all at once. But rather than allowing them to take control and hold you back, learn to embrace your challenges. Let them teach you the art of resilience. Be patient when the storm hasn’t passed yet and give yourself a chance to be human. The world has become too driven by results that we sometimes forget to evaluate whether our expectations are realistic or not. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead, do what you can and keep trying. You’re doing your best, and that’s what counts.
3. Let go of grudges and work on problem-solving.
Pain only lasts as long as you hold onto it. Learn how to forgive others as well as yourself. Swallow your pride and apologize when you’ve hurt someone. Holding onto grudges only gets in the way of making amends. It prevents you from bringing people closer to you. Instead of creating distance, find a common ground and learn to work through problems. Communicate openly and honestly and try not to be defensive or attack. Anger only distract you from cultivating deeper relationships. Be more open-minded and accepting. Your first reaction might be to withdraw when things get tough. Fight that urge and learn to face the problems with others.
4. Don’t analyze too much. Instead, allow things to just be.
Sometimes, there’s not always an explanation for the events that happen in our lives. So, don’t try to pick apart every situation. This will only drive you nuts and make you feel drained, rather than help you move forward. Don’t allow yourself to live in the past. Instead, focus on the present and enjoy things as they come. If an opportunity comes your way that will enhance your life for the better, don’t be too skeptical about where it came from or why it suddenly appeared. Take a chance and run with it. You never know what other doors it’ll also open for you along the way.
5. Make time to do the things that you love.
Maybe you hate your job or school feels like a never-ending nightmare with back-to-back exams. The exhaustion we feel when we’re burnt out or unmotivated can bring our moods down to the lowest of our lows. It’s hard to get excited about things when the walls continue to stack higher in front of you. This is why it’s essential that we don’t allow work or school to consume us. Setting healthy boundaries is important. If watching movies helps you escape, put one on at the end of the day. Listen to music that helps you unwind and go for a walk. Watch the sunset when you can. Moments, no matter how brief or small, inspire us to keep going.
What do you think?
How do you practice gratitude? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
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Conlon, C. (2018). 40 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude. Lifehack. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
Emmons, R. (2010, November 16). Why Gratitude is Good. Greater Good Magazine. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
Janet, M. (2016, July 8). 8 Ways to Have More Gratitude Every Day. Forbes. Retrieved April 19, 2018.