There are so many benefits to being thankful.
When you actively practice gratitude and express your thankfulness, it can lead to a happier, healthier life.
But being thankful doesn’t just happen on its own—it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly in order to grow stronger.
I was really bad at this, so it took me a while to learn how to exercise these thankfulness muscles, but I found some easy ways to go about it:
1) Write down three things you’re grateful for each day
You might be thinking, “What difference does it make if I write down a few things I’m thankful for or not?”
Well, the simple act of writing down three things you’re grateful for can increase your happiness by a lot!
When you write down your gratitude, it’s easier to remember to be grateful in general throughout your day.
You can easily do this while you’re waiting in line, on the way to work, or when you have a few minutes to spare at the end of the day before you go to sleep.
Simply pull out your phone and type or write down what you’re thankful for, and you’ll notice a difference in your mood almost instantly.
You can also keep a traditional gratitude journal and physically write down your grateful thoughts.
I have one I keep by my bedside, and when I’m not using it, I put it in a special box that reminds me of the blessings in my life.
When you make it a habit to do this every day in the morning or evening, you will soon notice a huge difference in your mindset!
2) Have a gratitude conversation with a friend, family member, or mentor
Another great way to practice your gratitude muscles is to have a gratitude conversation with a friend, mentor, or family member.
During this conversation, each of you should take turns sharing three things that you’re grateful for.
The goal is to feel the connection and closeness of the conversation.
You see, when you actually share your gratitude with another human being, it increases your happiness and well-being.
It’s a great way to spend time with someone you love and feel connected to.
And the best part? You might motivate them to be more grateful in their life, as well!
3) Set an intention to be thankful before your meals
Before you eat any meal, set an intention to be thankful for what you have.
This applies to snacks, beverages, and even your daily supplements.
Really take a moment to be grateful for your food, the people who grew or created it, and the impact it will have on your body.
When you eat with awareness and gratitude, you’re likely to make better choices and eat less. And it could even improve your digestion.
You see, people have been doing this for a long time, usually linked to giving blessings to the meal, or thanking God for it.
The thing is when you make it a habit to be thankful before your meals, it is really easy to stick to it as you have a cue (food).
Trust me when I say this, even though it sounds a bit weird, the food will taste so much better than before!
4) Meditate on what you’re most grateful for
Another thing you could do to exercise your thankfulness muscles is to meditate on what you’re most grateful for.
When you meditate on gratitude, you’re actively focusing on your positive thoughts.
To do this, sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
Then, once you feel relaxed, take a few more deep breaths and ask yourself what you’re most grateful for.
Try to keep that positive thought in your mind as you go about your day.
Using gratitude during meditation allows you to go much deeper into a meditative state.
You will reach levels of gratitude that touch your innermost being and calm your mind.
If you don’t know how to meditate yet, you simply need to sit down, focus on your breath and try to calm your mind.
Don’t worry if your thoughts drift – they always will to some extent. Simply bring your awareness back to what you’re meditating on.
5) Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life
If you feel that you’ve been particularly fortunate in life, you could write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life and express your gratitude.
This could be a mentor, teacher, parent, best friend, or someone who has inspired you.
This is a great way to exercise your gratitude muscles in a simple yet impactful way.
You don’t have to actually send the letter if you don’t want to, the mere act of writing down how grateful you are for someone can be enough to exercise your gratitude muscles.
However, sharing your expression of gratitude with someone can be a very beautiful thing.
Trust me, anyone would love to receive a letter of gratitude.
6) Give back by volunteering or donating to an organization that makes a difference in the world
Another great way to be thankful is to give back to your community.
You can volunteer your time to help those who need it most or donate your money to organizations that make a difference in the world.
Giving back is a great way to exercise your gratitude muscles. Being thankful for what you have is a great way to create positive energy in your life.
The thing is, when you give back, other people will express their gratitude to you, which will, in turn, help you become a more grateful person.
And as a result, the world becomes a better place, one good deed at a time!
7) Help others feel valued and appreciated
Another way to practice your gratitude muscles is to help others feel valued and appreciated.
You can do this by complimenting others, smiling more, and thanking people who help you and do nice things for you.
You can also actively seek out ways to help others and make a difference in their lives.
When you express your appreciation and gratitude to others, you help them feel valued and appreciated.
This is a great way to exercise your gratitude muscles and make the world a better place!
8) Be thankful for the small things
Another easy and simple way to exercise your gratitude muscles is to be thankful for the small things in life.
This could mean anything from the weather outside to the fact that you have hands that allow you to write and hold things.
The important thing is to be thankful for the things you may often take for granted.
You can do this by setting an alarm on your phone to go off once per day and prompt you to be thankful for the small things in life.
But I like to also just check in every once in a while and make a mental note of all the beauty that is around me at all times.
Sometimes, that’s something as simple as my coffee or the sky. The more you do this, the more you will realize that there is always beauty around you, no matter where you are and what you are doing.
This realization will help you with your thankfulness muscles, as well!
9) Thank your body for all it does
Your body does so much for you every day. It provides you with the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and the strength to get through your day-to-day life.
Be thankful for everything your body does for you and actively express this gratitude.
You can do so by writing it down, verbally expressing your gratitude, or even taking a moment to sit in silence and focus on your breath.
The thing is, we are so hard on our bodies sometimes. We want them to fit into societal standards and be perfect.
But the reality is, that our bodies are amazing. They are capable of so much.
We should be thankful for that!
Instead of criticizing your appearance, try to really be grateful for what your body does for you every single day.
How your legs allow you to walk up mountains, how your heart keeps beating for you, no matter how hard things are.
10) Be more mindful throughout the day
Lastly, you can exercise your gratitude muscles by being more mindful throughout the day.
To do this, you could set a daily intention to be mindful and grateful for everything you experience.
You could also set an intention to be grateful for one thing each day.
Or, you could set a timer for five minutes at the start of each day and spend the time thinking about what you’re grateful for.
With these 10 ways to exercise your thankfulness muscles, you’ll be well on your way to living a more grateful life.
And as always, don’t forget to express your gratitude. It’s the easiest way to let your thankfulness muscles grow stronger.
Now that you know how to exercise your thankfulness muscles, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice.
Remember, this will take time, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come naturally right away.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a more positive life and feel happier, healthier, and more grateful every day.
The more gratitude you cultivate, the more you will attract positive situations into your life! It’s truly a win-win situation!