A really great way to start appreciating things more is by taking 5 minutes each night to write down all of the things you’re grateful for, so you could take a page, make 3 columns, people, places and things, and see how quickly this fills up.
Phase two of this idea of practising gratitude is by expressing it out loud to others. You don’t have to thank the trees for oxygen (although this is one thing to add to your gratitude list!) but do choose something or someone from your list and make an effort to thank them.
Whether it's taking a moment in your thoughts, writing a letter or a nice text or arranging to take them out for lunch to thank them personally. By expressing gratitude, you get off that hedonic treadmill. Then, you can even try expressing gratitude to yourself… about all of the wonderful things that make you, you.
“Thank you for my drive, my spirit, my strength, the people in my life, those I love and those I learn from, thank you”.
Thank you is the key to opening the door to everything you desire to enter your life. It creates a positive wave.
If you're having trouble starting with your gratitude list, here are some ideas of the seemingly small things that we should be actively grateful for, to start:
Having the freedom to make our own choices
Our legs - to walk around easily and to dance!
The warmth of the coffee mug in your hands this morning
Putting socks on and wiggling your toes
The cold fresh air on your face as you stepped outside this morning
The feeling when that first breath of fresh air fills your lungs
See, happiness is so much more achievable than we're all made to believe... It isn't something that can be bought. We already have the key, it's just about finding the lock.
Starting with this simple gratitude list, no matter what mental state you are in can only benefit your well being. By deciding to start being proactively positive you are making the choice of to control your negative thoughts, shutting them down and rerouting to a positive thought. This rewires your brain so that eventually you will automatically only see the positives and slowly but steadily, all negative thoughts will have less control over you. Think of negativity as a creature of habit. If you stop feeding it, it won't come looking to be fed at your house anymore.
As your day goes on make a mental note for yourself of all the wonderful things that you get to enjoy in your day-to-day life.