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“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle. We should be grateful for all that we have in our lives. Sometimes that’s easy and things just fall into place. Dominoes one by one. But sometimes, life can be a mess and every element around you seems to be in disarray. It’s these times that we want to focus on. Naturally, it’s easier said than done to conquer emotional spikes while in turmoil, but there are ways to implement gratitude on a daily basis-micro tasks to set aside time to stop and appreciate what is. 

A simple shift in your mindset not only has the power to provide you with positive feelings but has been proven to help others lead more satisfactory lives and increase their well being as well. Be the light. Here are five easy ways to add little bouts of thankfulness to your day to day.

Photo by Alejandro Alvarez

Photo by Alejandro Alvarez

1: Morning Gratitude Expression

A major reason most people struggle to create positive habits in their lives is time. We all have busy schedules filled with jobs, meetings, and relationships. Maximize your time by multitasking. Combine expressions of gratitude with something you already do every morning like taking a shower or brushing your teeth.

While you are soaping up or applying toothpaste – think of three things that you are grateful for. I charge myself to choose different things each day so I don’t get into a routine of repeating them mindlessly.

This technique can be applied to a multitude of morning routines from making breakfast to walking your dog. Make sure that when you ‘re thinking of the things you are grateful for, you really indulge in that sense of joy and envelope your existence in it. Let those feelings overcome you.

Photo by Emi De Fazio

Photo by Emi De Fazio

2: Object Reminder

When I was younger I loved hunting for unique rocks. I would paint them various colors, add glitter and rhinestones. Yes, I was one of those weird kids with pet rocks. My grown up version? Gratitude rocks. I took this idea from an article I read years ago and it has really helped remind me to stay in a place of gratitude all day.

It’s pretty simple. You choose any object, it doesn’t have to be a rock, and tell yourself that every time you touch it you have to say something you appreciate about your current circumstance. The only rule? Make sure it’s an object you’ll remember to grab and carry with you every day.

Photo by Adam Littman Davis

Photo by Adam Littman Davis

3: Use Your Phone

Speaking of objects we carry around and stare at all day long, your smartphone is a great tool to remind you to stay grateful. Not only are there plenty of apps that are specifically designed to help record thankful thoughts, but there are endless resources that already on your phone.

Set an alarm on your phone for the same time every day that will help remind you to repeat expressions of gratitude. You can also add it to apps or calendars that you use to manage tasks during the day. Keeping them all in one place helps you track how often you put into play this new positive habit.

Photo by Andressa Voltolini

Photo by Andressa Voltolini

4: Pick a Person a Day

Keeping up with our friends and family can sometimes be reduced to checking their latest status on social media. While this helps us stay updated with other’s life events, it does not replace the feeling of true connection. One way to be more fulfilled in your relationships and add value to our friends, family, and spouses is by sharing a moment of gratitude with them.

This can be done in very simple ways. Just by shooting a friend a text for helping you with a problem or sending a “just because I love you” note to your parents, you can brighten someone’s day. It also gives others the idea to express gratitude to someone that’s helped them, creating a rippling effect of positivity.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

5: Old Fashioned Journaling

In a world filled with technology and staring at screens all day, it’s nice to sometimes put pen to paper. As a writer and avid reader, I love feeling an actual book in my hand or hearing the scratching sound of a pen as I write between the lines of college ruled paper.

Today it doesn’t make much sense to do everything on paper, but there is something extra special about keeping a small gratitude journal with you to jot down happy moments everywhere you go. If you already keep a journal, instead of starting each entry off with your daily activities or feelings, take time to write one thing that happened in your day that brought you joy.

There are not many habits that only take five minutes a day and can amplify your life like gratitude, so take time to do one of these today. Your future self will thank you.

Photo by Brad Neathery

Photo by Brad Neathery

Feature image by Toia Montes de Oca.