Stop. Take a moment to reflect.
Ask yourself – do you like it when people take you for granted? The answer is probably a resounding no.
It's nice to be appreciated, and it's nice to hear a kind word now and then. However, once we get accustomed to a person, or to having a certain thing, we fall into a routine that often reflects dismissiveness or the failure of showing gratitude.
It is a human tendency, but one that can be avoided. Here are 10 tips to keep yourself in check, and express gratitude for the things you're grateful for.
- Showing Gratitude With Your Words
Use your ability to speak or write to express thanks and praise whenever you can. Did your friend drop you off at the airport? Express your thanks.
Did your mom bake her world-famous chocolate brownies again? Tell her how amazing you think they are. Write notes, include details and make it genuine.
Don't say something you don't mean, but be sure to include why the gesture meant so much to you. Trust us, as strange as it may seem to you, it's only going to make their day!
- Help When You Can
See an opportunity to help someone out? Volunteer to help them! Sometimes people find it hard to ask for help, so when you do see someone in need, save them the trouble of asking, offer up your assistance.
Not only will it make their day that much easier, but it'll add so much positive energy into your life.
- The Power of Touch
Do you know someone who is particularly affectionate? Odds are, they probably appreciate affection as well. So return the warmth with a big hug of gratitude, an embrace, or a kiss on the cheek, depending on the kind of relationship you share.
If you're unsure about how your affection is going to be received, you can always express your gratitude in different ways.
- Meaningful Gifts
Showing appreciation or feeling appreciation through gifts doesn't always make you materialistic. Any gift that is given with the right intent and a lot of thought is a wonderful way of expressing how much someone means to you.
It could be a t-shirt you know they're going to love, an assortment of cute little things that remind you of them or even something as simple as a bouquet of roses, if they've got a love for flowers.
Use a guide to buying flowers if you're unsure of how to go about it.
- Put Your Blessings Into Words
Are there things in your life you're grateful for? Perhaps it's your career, that's never been better, maybe it's your loving family, or maybe it's your dog, cat or pet lizard. Write down what you're grateful for, and keep track of the things you appreciate.
It's a great way to reflect, especially when you're having one of those awful days where you feel like the whole universe is out to get you.
- Do Something Kind for Someone Who Can't Repay You
So often, we get caught up in the give and take, and we forget about the people who aren't really in a position to give back. Be there for those people. The ultimate expression of gratitude in altruism.
It's the idea that you are so appreciative of what you have, that you are more than happy to share it with the world. So go ahead and share – your time, your talents, your material possessions, and your money. Do it quietly and do it without an expectation of reciprocity.
- Tip Well, When You Can
If you're financially well-off enough to offer a generous tip – do it. Being a waiter is hard work, interacting with entitled customers is even harder. Be the highlight of someone's day by rewarding them for their good service, when so many people don't.
- Give Your Time to Someone Who Needs it
Some people don't need money, they just need someone to listen to them, or they need the pleasure of someone else's company. So if you have the time, why not spend it with them?
There's an ongoing loneliness epidemic, and you can do your bit to fix it.
- Check-In With the People You Care About
This one is simple and extremely effective. Here's a thought – you love someone; you truly value their existence. So check-in with them.
Visit them, call them, text them, and let them know you hope they're doing well. And if they aren't, offer a listening ear. Be genuine about it, be interested in what they have to say.
Don't turn it into just another “how are you” with no real expectation of an answer. Let them know that you truly mean it, and it isn't just small talk.
- Share Your Talents
Are you particularly good at something? Do you have a skill or talent you can share? Offer to teach it to some underprivileged children, or even an older person who's always wanted to learn, but could never afford it.
Cultivating a Lifestyle of Gratitude
Showing gratitude should never become a “phase”. Rather, it's a way of life. If you truly want to master the art of showing gratitude, you can start by incorporating these little things into your life.
Allow them to become habits. Let it become second nature to you. The more you practice it and the more mindful you are about it, the more likely you are to make these little acts reflexive responses to your environment.
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