Being More Grateful - May
May’s specific daily activity suggestion is “Be More Grateful”.
Some say gratitude is the greatest virtue, the parent of all others. Do you have enough gratitude in your life?
Join the SoHaPP movement, enrich a giving spirit and make expressions of gratitude a part of your character and everyday life. Contemplate a source of gratitude and provide an outlet to express this thought of thanks. Express this gratitude to others, or journal such thoughts. An attitude of gratitude will give you a more purposeful appreciation for life.
Studies show gratitude can be a strong relaxant, helps us bounce back from stress and may even bring longevity to life. Feeling grateful makes us feel worthwhile. Expressing gratitude fights the ‘always wanting more’, and will give us a deep appreciation for what we have. We become less materialistic, less self-centered and feelings of envy are reduced. Being grateful for life, even with our imperfections or limitations, replaces shame with acceptance. Gratitude makes us nicer, more optimistic, trusting and social. We are social creatures, having a strong inner desire for meaningful relationships and to be part of a community. Generally speaking, some of the happiest people are very socially productive, spending significant time developing relationships and engaging their communities. Gratitude develops those relationships and engagements.
Giving thanks will quiet the negative chatter in your brain, and help calm the mind. It will bring in other positive experiences, which will help offset the inevitable hardships happening in life. Think of gratitude as a regular state of mind always needing attention, as it is happiness in and of itself. It takes no money and very little effort, but provides tremendous rewards.
- Everyday acknowledge to another 3 new things that happened within the last 24 hours you are grateful for. You could also write these thoughts in a journal.
- Directly thanking others for their actions increases their sense of well-being, so the community benefits too. Send an email of appreciation or call someone to express what their efforts mean to you.
- Listening to other’s reflections of gratitude increases your well-being. Immerse yourself with gratitude by saying, hearing, writing and reading reflections of thanks. Expressions of gratitude can bring peace and contentment – a recipe for great mental health to your and others.
Create a Gratitude Stop, where anyone can add a reflection of thanks. These stops can be at a participating residence or business. A store window, chalk on the sidewalk, ribbons tied to a tree or fence—anyone can have a Gratitude Stop. When coming to one, write out an expression of gratitude. Read the reflections there. See how life can be appreciated by others, and after reflection, even by you!
The key to this practice is doing it every day. Force yourself to express gratitude, even just a little bit, every day for the month of May. Acknowledge your expression of thanks with a thought of “Well Done”, encouraging future expressions. This practice will become a habit and be in your subconscious hopefully for the rest of your life. Own your mental health and happiness. Take intentional steps to build vibrant well being.