There is always, always something to be thankful for.
I’m pretty sure I’ve shared that quote before and it’s one that I always love to read because it helps bring things back into perspective when life is hard.
If you’re having a rough day, or week, then it can start to be a struggle to see all the good things in your life.
So for those times, here are 5 simple ways to start to notice the good and be more thankful again.
1. Take mindful pauses
There are a million and one things to be thankful for in our everyday lives, we just need to slow down and notice them.
So, as you go about your day, stop and take notice of the things around you now and then. Savour the smell of your cup of coffee in the morning, and how the warm mug feels in your hands. Slow down on your walk around the block, look up at the trees that are full of life again and look down at the flowers popping up here, there and everywhere.
When you notice that something is making you feel happy, stop and pay attention to exactly how you’re feeling, what your senses are taking in and what thoughts are running through your mind.
These mindful pauses throughout the day can make a huge difference in how much you appreciate all the little things in your life.
2. Notice and say thank you for the things your family do
Over time it can be so easy to take all the things your partner and your family do for granted.
And when you also do loads of things for the family without really getting any thanks for doing it, you can end up a bit resentful of then thanking them for the things they do. Or is that just me?!
The thing to do here, is break the cycle.
Be the one to notice all the little things that your family do for each other, and make a point of thanking them.
All the little, kind, thoughtful actions that can so easily go unnoticed – be the one to notice them and acknowledge them. Do this with no intention other than to make the other person feel appreciated and to help you see how much they do that you can be thankful for.
If it’s noticed enough for them to start thanking you too, for all the things you do, that’s a huge fringe benefit!
3. Focus on what you have
There’s an old saying that what you focus on expands.
If you spend all your time and energy thinking about what you lack, what you’re missing in your life, what you’re jealous of other people having then you’ll always notice more and more things that make you feel that way.
So instead, start to reframe those thoughts to focus on all the good things you do have.
Replace complaints with gratitude.
4. Send thank you notes
One way to really get yourself into a thankful frame of mind is to actually go out and thank people.
Letting people know that you appreciate them and the things they bring to your life is a great way to make everyone feel good.
It can be a handwritten letter or card in the post, a phone call, an email, a text, a video message, or any other way of reaching out to someone. Just make the effort to say thank you.
5. List three things each day that you’re thankful for
This is a habit that I keep starting and stopping and starting again, and really want to commit to doing on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, jot down three things that you’re thankful for.
The thing with this is that, at first, it’s quite easy. You list the big things like your family, your friends, your children.
When you keep going though it forces you to look more at the little things in your life that you’re thankful for, unless you want your list to be the same every single day.
You become aware of how thankful you actually are for clear blue skies, or that earthy smell of rain after a long dry spell. The cup of coffee that you got to drink while it was still hot, in relative peace. A text message from a friend that really made you smile.
When we start to slow down and really notice what we have in our lives, we start to see quite how much we have to be thankful for.
Even during the hard times.
If you look, and keep looking, you’ll find that old quote is true. There is always, always something to be thankful for.