It’s easy when things are going mostly well for us to get lost on the hedonic treadmill. As our lives improve, we continue to want more and more. But resist the temptation to try and keep up with the Joneses. All is not lost if you can’t get that designer handbag, that expensive gaming computer, or that brand new car.
To combat the tendency to forget our blessings, here are five ways to express your gratitude.
Exercise Your Talents and Skills
Most people spend so much time bemoaning their flaws, but you will be much happier if you take the time to recognize your strengths. Be grateful for the things that you do well. These talents and skills are a gift.
If you have a good voice or a knack for trivia, put those skills to use. You can spend an evening singing karaoke with friends or go out for pub trivia. Or maybe your skills are more strengths of character. If you are good at making people feel comfortable and at ease, you could host a small dinner party. There are so many possibilities when it comes to finding a way to exercise your talent.
Remember Lessons Learned
People come and go throughout our lives, but we can be grateful for the lessons we have learned from those who are no longer with us.
Your best friend from preschool with whom you’ve lost touch may have taught you the value of friendship. An Ex-Boyfriend who broke your heart may have taught you that you deserve someone who loves and respects you. A grandparent who has passed away may have taught you the importance of spending time with your family. The people that we meet all provide us with opportunities to learn and grow.
To express your gratitude for these lessons learned, write a letter in your journal addressed to the person who affected you. Even though they are no longer with you, you can take time to recognize all that they taught you.
Brainstorm in Your Journal
Write down anything and everything that you are grateful for in your journal. You could start with the big things like love and good health, or start with the small things, like cold brew coffee and blueberry pancakes.
Try to keep on writing for at least 5 to 10 minutes. As your list gets longer, you will have to dig deeper to find all of those wonderful things for which you are grateful.
Give a 30-40% Tip
If you’ve ever worked in food service, then you know how difficult those jobs can be. If not, take the word of a failed barista. Those who are good at customer service only make it look easy.
The next time you interact with that upbeat barista or that server who has the balancing skills of a trapeze artist, bump up that tip to 30-40% to show your gratitude for what they do to make your life a little easier.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering for a good cause allows you to express your gratitude for what you have in life by serving others less fortunate than yourself. When you help the homeless, you will remember to be grateful for you home. When you feed the hungry, you will feel gratitude for the food that you eat.