How can you reframe your mindset for positivity? One well-researched way: gratitude.
It's easy to be grateful when things are going well. Did you get a clean bill of health from the doctor? Oh, thank goodness! Did your team win the big game? Yay! Did you get your dream job? I'm so grateful for this opportunity!
When things are more difficult or challenging, it's harder to feel grateful or to remember to feel grateful. I think one thing that 2020 has taught us is to search inside of ourselves a little (or a lot) more deeply and figure out what our deepest needs are. Even in a year like 2020, there are still reasons to be grateful, you just may need to dig a little (or a lot) deeper to find it!
A lot of research points to the benefits of gratitude and shows that it leads to psychological and physical well-being as well as increased happiness, life satisfaction, and mood. One study showed that positive changes in the area of the brain that are associated with learning and decision making lasted for 3 months after the initial gratitude experiment was conducted.
I like to say that we find what we look for and gratitude is no different. Here are some ways you can incorporate gratitude into your life.
Gratitude Practice #1: Start Small
When things are challenging in your life, you can start small: the sun came up. you have a warm blanket. If you find yourself looking at negatives or what you might not have, be gentle with yourself and try to stay open-minded, and find even a small thing to be grateful for.
Gratitude Practice #2: 20 Things to be Grateful for in 2020
If you are looking for ideas to begin your gratitude practice, you can try these 20 journal prompts. Just pick one or two a day and think or write a few words. (I am also posting these prompts on Instagram one each day if you want to follow along)!
What book are you grateful for?
Who is someone you are grateful for today?
What are you grateful for in your job or career?
What is a mistake or misstep that you are grateful for?
What is a skill you have that you are grateful for?
What's a tool, tip, or trick that makes your life easier?
What material position are you grateful for?
What's something you see right outside of your window that you are grateful for?
Think about a friend you are grateful for.
What accomplishment are you grateful for?
What service or organization are you grateful for?
What is something you are looking forward to?
What is something about yourself that you are grateful for?
Think about a happy memory.
What song are you grateful for?
Think about a family member you are grateful for.
What tradition are you grateful for?
Think about how you help or serve others.
Look around your room. What thing are you grateful for?
What is something or someone you have in your life that you didn't have a year ago that you are grateful for?
Final Thoughts on Gratitude
There is no one correct way to practice gratitude. My biggest recommendation is to just be consistent about it and have some fun with it! And remember, you find what you look for.