Didn't we do the gratitude thing last November? I remember thinking that when I was in grade school, back in the 1900s. Every year, we had to make a list of everything we were grateful for - and it was always the same things: my family, my house, food and TV (not necessarily in that order).
I can't say my feelings changed much over the years until I learned that gratitude isn't a once-a-year list-making assignment: it's a 24/7 daily practice. It's not an attitude of gratitude, it's a dedicated mindset where you see abundance in everything.
These five steps can help change the way you perceive the world and move your mindset from lack to abundance and appreciation.
Practice new thoughts. As I mentioned in my podcast, What are you thinking? everything we contemplate creates the world around us. If you are focused on lack or scarcity, that's what you'll attract. But if you find ways to see things through the lens of abundance, everything changes, and the world delivers more things to feel grateful for. It sounds too easy. But it works.
Keep a list. Yes, the dreaded gratitude list assignment. But in a new way. Instead of just writing things you're grateful for, write WHY you're grateful for them and how they make you FEEL. Here's an example: I am grateful for my husband because he likes to surprise me with fun activities or gifts, and I feel valued and loved. I try to write five to ten things each morning to start my day off with the feeling of abundance.
Keep learning. As your abundance mindset grows, you'll find you want to learn more about this world, whether it's a spiritual topic or something like art, music, cooking, juggling, beatboxing, or reading, you'll be attracted to growth because abundance IS growth.
Nourish your body. The more you take time to respect your body through movement, meditation, nourishing foods, rest, and play, the happier you'll feel. Even if your body isn't "perfect" (spoiler: no body is perfect), the more you treat it with love and kindness, the better it will respond. You'll find more energy, feel more rested, and gain a true appreciation for all the things your body does.
Say Thank You. This seems really simple, but you'd be amazed how many people don't thank the waitstaff, or the barista, or the cashier, or the bank teller. The trick is, you can't just mumble "Thank you" and wander away. You have to 1) Make eye contact, 2) Smile, 3) say thank you. You don't know how this practice has changed the way I connect with others. Some people love it and smile back, others don't know what to do. It's a super fun practice - and you might make someone's day - even if it's just your own.
Peri Kinder is the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching. She's a happiness coach, yoga and meditation instructor, and award-winning freelance writer.