By Kendall Job
In the midst of exam stress, everyday life and little things we all worry about on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget how much we really have to be thankful for. Here are some actions you can take to practice gratitude more regularly that will help you better notice all the things we have to be grateful for.
- Call your parents
They would l-o-v-e to hear from you, I promise. Catching up with your mom and dad, or even anyone in your extended family, is always a nice getaway from reality. Really take time to catch up, hear them and listen to what they have to say. Be thankful for the positive relationship you have with them. And, of course, tell them you love them. You might not realize it, but you might not say it enough, and they probably don’t hear it enough either.
- Wake up grateful
When you wake up each day and sit up to stretch, think of one thing you’re thankful for. It can be as simple as “I’m glad I got a good night’s sleep” or “I’m excited to get lunch with my friend today.” Gratitude comes directly from these things. You slept well because your bed was comfortable and you weren’t up late thinking or worrying. You can get lunch because you can pay for it and get to catch up with a friend you like spending time with. Little things are so easy to let slide as the norm, but being thankful for how they’re able to happen is important to realize, too.
- Appreciate your environment
No matter where you are every day, appreciate the space you’re in. we’re lucky to have such a beautiful campus with so much happening on the regular. Take your headphones out on your walk to class and appreciate the nature and the fresh air even though it’ll be cold soon. Eat a meal in your kitchen or dining hall without your phone. Appreciate the people you’re with and the space you live in. We’re lucky to have a well-funded, updated campus. We’re lucky to attend college. We’re lucky to live wherever we do. Appreciate where you are when you’re doing something simple.
- Compliment a friend (or five!)
Complimenting a friend might seem more like a reason for them to be grateful for hearing something nice about themselves. But telling someone why you love and appreciate them is a great way to express your gratitude and remind people why they’re important to you. It’s also a good reminder for yourself of how lucky you are to have them in your life and to have a solid friendship with them. It’s a win-win for the both of you!
- Make an effort to complain less
Gratitude stems from appreciating what you have and not complaining about what you don’t. There are so many little annoyances that can occur from day to day, like leaving your laptop charger at home, sleeping through dinner time at the dining hall or getting your shoes muddy in the rain. But there are positives in all of these, like owning a laptop, having a super cozy bed and having more than just the one pair of shoes that got dirty. Stopping yourself when you realize your complaining and turning the situation around to be positive is a small change to make to better practice gratitude each day.
- Tell the universe “thank you”
Regardless of what you believe in, just be thankful you’re alive! You woke up today and got through it all for a reason. Being thankful and accepting of the challenges each day brings will improve your mindset going into each day and remind you what a privilege it is to have another day to live life and make a difference.
These are some super simple things to incorporate into your everyday life to remember to practice gratitude regularly. Hopefully, they help everyone to better realize just how much we have to be thankful for!
Cover image from https://www.skipprichard.com/7-elements-of-leadership-gratitude/