Gratitude – 7 Missions To Become More Thankful In Life
Before we start talking gratitude missions, it might be good to know that there is a point behind all this. Studies have proven that practicing gratitude helps guiding people towards a greater sense of meaning and even better health. To learn more about the research aspect of it I’d suggest the book Flourish by Martin Saligman or browsing through the Positive Psychology website.
For me personally, being grateful for all the good I have is like my foundation of feeling fulfilled in life. When I think about it, me being grateful might actually be the main reason for me to feel calm and even, better in dealing with setbacks or other rough times. Including the pandemic that we are currently facing. Perhaps it can help you do the same.
With that being said, let’s get you on your way towards practicing gratitude yourself. If choose to accept this mission, of course.
GRATITUDE WARMING UP
There are many different ways that you can go about praticing gratitude. Taking a pen and scribbling things down on a random piece of paper is probably the easiest way to go about this.
So if you haven’t already done so already, grab a piece of paper and get a pen out. This warming up exercise can be done any time of the day and just takes a few minutes to complete.
Step 1: ask yourself what you feel grateful for.
Step 2: write down whatever comes up.
Step 3: repeat until you have a list of at least 10 things.
Ten things might seem like a lot at first, but once you repeat this exercise a few more times, you will be able to do this within no-time. For now it’s good to remind yourself that there are no wrong answers and how you can be equally grateful for small things in life – write those down too!
To get you going, I have listed some examples down below for things that came up while writing this article. The point of the exercise is still to come up with your own list, so only use this list if you need some inspiration.
Big things like your love relationship, your children, your friends, being healthy, life itself, feeling loved, having a home, having income, having a job you actually like, meaningful experiences, etc.
Small things like the clothes you are weaing, the pen you are writing with, the cup of coffee that you are currently drinking, the device you are using, etc.
What are YOU feeling grateful for right now?
As you most certainly already know, random pieces of papers easily get lost. Practicing gratitude is not just about writing things down; it’s also about reading them back later. If you are ready to give this a proper go, then I highly suggest that you start a gratitude journal.
Step 1: Get A Notebook
Personally I am a big fan of the Moleskine and Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks, but they might seem a bit pricey. To me the higher pricepoint and better quality of the notebook somehow helps me give more importance to the things I write in them.
It’s entirely okay if you go with a (much) cheaper notebook. Should you already own a daily journal or agenda, you can of course use this too. I myself have a monthly gratitude list in my bullet journal.
Step 2: Start Writing Daily
Once you have the journal ready, it’s time to start writing in it. The best way to go about this is to either open or close your day by writing down whatever you feel grateful for in that moment. It does not have to be 10 things every day like we did in the warming up exercise, but it totally can be if you feel like it.
It is not important how many things you write but…
… it is important to do this daily.
My suggestion would be to do it at the end of your day and then write down between 1 to 3 things from that day that you feel grateful for. Remember; it doesn’t matter how small or big these things are.
Step 3: Review Your List Daily
Once you get going and are a few days into your gratitude journal, your list will have grown in something worth reading back. After about a week it starts to make sense to take a moment to read what you wrote down on the previous days.
This will help you cement your foundation of gratitude.
Do not forget this step!
Apart from being grateful for friendship in general, it might be interesting to get more specific and ask yourself who and why you are grateful for; what particular aspect of that specific person do you appreciate so much? Again, it doesn’t have to be something big either and don’t just stick to your family and best friends either.
You might have a colleague at work who brings joy to your work day. Perhaps a neighbour that accepted your package when you weren’t home. Or that stranger on the street who randomly greeted you with a smile. Maybe one of the employees in the local supermarket who always wishes you a happy day.
You can of course list these things down in your gratitude journal, but you could also express this gratitude by telling them. You can do this by telling them face to face, writing them a card or simply send them a quick message through your favorite social media channel.
WHO are you grateful for &
WHY are you grateful for them?
When you’d come visit me in my house in Amsterdam, one of the first things you will notice upon walking in would be this big piece of paper that I put up on my wall. It’s sort of a gratitude poster and lists things that me and my guests are grateful for. We made it a bit more relevant and focussed by specifically asking ourselves what we are grateful during the current pandemic.
When you would visit me, I would definitely ask you to add something to the list.
Some of the things that we have listed so far include; us being healthy, having the time and space to get to know ourselves better, going on walks in nature while talking life and remembering weird dreams (I keep a dream journal too, but that’s something for another blog).
Gratitude Journal - 7 days
One Month of Gratitude Journaling
Express Your Gratitude - Tell a Friend
Express Your Gratitude - Tell a Stranger
Create A Gratitude Poster
Share Your Findings With Mission Marijn
In this blog we talked about gratitude and how it can help you increase your health and sense of meaning. You received some missions to get you going on your way to become a more grateful person. Let me know how things are going!