Decide that you are going to notice and reflect on at least one thing to be grateful for each day and take a GratePic of it, with a focus on the small things – a flower, a kind word from a neighbor or colleague, a smile from a stranger, the sun shining, the rain helping the flowers in your front yard to grow, the young person who assists you with carrying your grocery bags to the car. If you find this difficult to do on a daily basis, start with a few times a week and build the practice to every day.
Taking GratePic’s of the simple everyday things we’re grateful for and reflecting on them routinely can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. Gratitude does not need to be reserved only for momentous occasions: Sure, you might express gratitude after receiving a promotion at work, but you can also be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of pie. Cultivating gratitude can trigger the numerous benefits of gratitude. The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they are thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
Capture small acts of kindness with a GratePic. Small acts of kindness make a difference in a big way when it comes to cultivating gratitude. Thankful people make it a habit to acknowledge and pay forward each bit of kindness that comes their way, whether it’s a simple compliment, help on a task or getting flowers “just because.” Research shows this type of kindness makes both you and the other person happier.
There’s power in the small, ordinary moments, like catching the subway before the doors close or your pet greeting your happily when you get home. Looking for a few things to take GratePics of? Here are a few…
1) Your pet. Studies show pet ownership increases happiness.
2) Making the subway just before the doors close. Success!
3) Your morning coffee. A cup of joe has outstanding health benefits. Not to mention, it’s a good excuse to catch up with your colleagues before your day begins.
4) That movie that always makes you laugh. Laughter has been linked to health benefits ranging from a better immune system to lower blood pressure.
5) When the bus driver sees you running and waits 10 extra seconds to let you on.
6) When someone sees your hands are full and opens the door for you. Don’t underestimate the power of a small gesture.
7) Your health. The more you appreciate your well-being, the more you’ll prioritize it. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your health.
8) Sunny winter days. Many people are subject to the “winter blues” during the seasonal shift, making the blissfully “warm and sunny” days in the middle of the season a precious gift.
9) Your close friends. Studies show hanging out with your BFF can reduce stress.
10) The holidays. They don’t call it “the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing. Here’s how to carry the joy of the season with you all year ’round.
11) Puppy videos. How can you resist this face?
12) Your favorite TV show. You genuinely can’t help but become invested in the juicy love triangles or the drama. Humans are psychologically wired to get attached to fictional characters.
13) New Music! Or any emotional piece of music, for that matter. Research shows that you just can’t help but listen to sad songs ― and they have psychological benefits.
14) The moment when your food comes at a restaurant.
15) Your child’s face after they get a present. That’s what pure joy looks like.
16) Thank you notes. It feels just as good to send one as it does to get one.
17) Opportunities to volunteer. Research shows helping others doesn’t just make them feel good, but it also boosts your happiness.
18) Your co-workers. You spend the majority of your weekday waking hours with them. They definitely make that nine-to-five feel more bearable.
19) When your favorite song comes on the radio at the perfect moment. Admit it, you’ve totally flailed your arms when your jam comes through the speakers. It’s like destiny is on your side.
20) A great hike. When you’re done, it feels like you’ve accomplished some great feat. Plus, there are serious benefits to spending some time in nature.
21) A really comfortable chair. Naps welcome (they’re good for you!).
22) When you wake up before your alarm and get to roll back over. A few more hours to sleep? Score.
23) Not setting an alarm on a weekend. Score again.
24) Chocolate. There’s a health benefit to the sweet treat, in case you needed a reason.
25) When your dog is so happy to see you. Fido not only loves you unconditionally, research shows dogs consider you family and relieve anxiety.
In our plugged-in culture, it’s impossible to avoid social media altogether. However, thankful people mindfully take advantage of these networks. Thankful people use whatever cues that exist in everyday environments to trigger grateful thoughts. Pictures and information on social media ― that’s a very good way to do it.
Research has found that positive thoughts shared on social media spread faster than than negative ― something that makes the gratitude process a lot easier when turning to the Internet. Use GratePic inspiration and your past GratePics to pull from when you need a reminder to be grateful. Share
Expressing appreciation for loved ones can also help create a closeness by allowing others to see how you look at them. More than other emotion, gratitude is the emotion of friendship. It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person.
And stating how much you appreciate your loved ones pays off. A recent study published in the journal Personal Relationships found that couples who expressed gratitude in their relationship had better marriages. Higher levels of thankfulness in the relationship also seemed to reduce men and women’s likelihood of divorce.
Take a GratePic that represents appreciation for another person, and then share it with them in a text, on Facebook, or on any other platform.
Thankful people know they didn’t get to where they are by themselves ― and they make it a habit to spend time with those people who matter most. Gratitude really helps us connect to other people. It actually strengthens relationships and relationships are the strongest predictors of happiness and coping with stress. Take a GratePic of your love ones and reflect on them each day.