Tips from Margaret Martin on how to practice gratitude and appreciation every day with journals, handwritten notes or emails to others, and daily affirmations.
What’s the difference between appreciation and gratitude? Well, when I checked out my well-worn dictionary to find the definitions, it showed the same definition for both words, using “appreciation” in the gratitude definition and in appreciation using the word “gratitude” to describe it.
I think it is important to practice both no matter which word you choose and thought it would be a great idea to share some of the ways I express gratitude and appreciation. It is my hope for you that some of these ideas will appeal to you and you will incorporate them into your life.
Here are some easy steps to implement appreciation and gratitude:
- Gratitude Journal – get yourself a journal that is special for you and keep it by your bedside. At the end of every day as you get ready for bed, make a list of 3 – 5 things or more, for which you are grateful. Simple things such as: green traffic lights as you drive, beauty of the sunrise or sunset, a conversation with a friend or family member, safe home, comfortable bed, the work that you get to do in the world are just a few ideas and I am sure you can think of so many other examples.
It gives a more positive end to the day and you will probably sleep better for it.
- Notes or Emails – let people know you are grateful and appreciate how they have helped you, also known as “thank you” notes. It seems that handwritten notes are almost a thing of the past, but fortunately there are a few people who still have that habit. (I know I am thrilled and appreciative when someone has taken the time to write a note to me.)
Handwritten notes, cards or emails . . . it doesn’t really matter what form you use, just take time to let people know you are grateful!
- Simple list – take a notepad, notebook, or even in the computer and write down everything in your life for which you are grateful. Things such as: your home, a safe car to drive, your health, friends, family, where you live and so on. I encourage you to get as specific as possible. Then re-read the list from time-to-time.
- Start your day with thoughts and/or statements of gratitude.
- Tell someone you appreciate them. It is easy to forget to do this, but I highly recommend it. Do not go to bed without appreciating someone – I offer you that challenge to do this for one month (30 days) and see if you don’t feel better. It just has to have a positive effect on our attitude – at least I think so. (This is a little different than the notes/emails exercise, because it is taking the time each day to express your appreciation.)
Hopefully this reminder will help you add appreciation and gratitude to your day every day! It is really a simple thing to do, create a new habit that helps you feel good.
With that said, I appreciate you for taking time to read my article today and each month. I am grateful for the support you give to me in my life’s work.