Our ability to be grateful and generous is a reflection of our values, mindset, personal standards and what we consider to be important in life.
Those who have a regular practice of being grateful and generous are generally happier, healthier and wealthier in all aspects of life. Every time we do something that leaves a positive impression with others, it also affects us in a positive way.
While we can accept that being grateful and generous is valuable, not just to others but also to ourselves, we may not always have practical ways or know how to express it. The best part about it is we don’t have to do anything extraordinary to leave a positive impression with others. Oftentimes, it’s the smallest things we do that makes the biggest difference with others.
Here are seven ways that can inspire us to intentionally practice being more grateful and generous this year. While most of these ideas are quite simple, they will require a little discipline and commitment to make it a regular practice.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Practicing gratitude daily and actually writing down things we appreciate is one of the most powerful positive, healthy habits we can develop. When we write things down rather than just think about them, we engage more of our physical senses, which has more of an emotional impact. Whenever we are feeling down and need a lift or boost, we can always refer back to our journal for things that have gone well in our lives.
- Appreciate yourself more often. It is hard to give something we don’t have ourselves. If we don’t have a healthy level of respect and appreciation for ourselves, it will be extremely difficult to appreciate and be generous to others consistently. We may do it once in a while but it may not have the impact it could have compared to when we do it consistently. Generosity and appreciation starts with ourselves and the more we appreciate ourselves, the more we will appreciate others.
- Change your internal dialogue. What we say and do externally is dictated by what is going on internally for us. If we are self-critical, chances are we will judge and criticise others. One way to overcome this is to change our self-talk to being more positive and outcome-focused. We should also start looking for the good in every situation because that will also help us change our internal dialogue.
- Stop judging others. If we adopt the mindset that people are doing the best they can with the awareness, skills, knowledge and tools they have at any given moment, then that will help us look for the good in people and support them as best as we can. When we judge others, it is often a reflection of aspects of ourselves we haven’t fully owned up to or accepted. Our job is to treat others the way we want to be treated ourselves. The less judgements we have, the more likely we will be appreciative and generous to others.
- Focus on the present as best as you can. All too often, we fall into the trap of reliving the past or worrying too much about the future, which takes us away from living in the present. When we allow ourselves to be more present, we experience life for what it is — a collection of moment to moment experiences. This is when we are more likely to appreciate the life we have and do what we can to help others who may not be as fortunate as us.
- Do something positive for someone every day. We all love positive surprises. Doing something positive daily can be as simple as giving someone a compliment about something they did or sending out an appreciation email. It can also involve saying “thank you” more often. When we do something positive for someone else, it also makes us feel good, which will enhance our desire to do more positive things and be more generous.
- Give without expecting anything in return. Being grateful and generous is a mindset. There is a law of the universe which states that the grateful we are, the more we will be given to be grateful for. Therefore, we should never worry about getting our fair share. Our job is to continue to put good things out in the world and just trust that we will be rewarded in due course. Having such an attitude should encourage to be more generous to others, and show appreciation and gratitude for what we do have.
Being more grateful and generous to others starts with being more grateful and generous to ourselves. If we have a positive mental attitude, it will support us in expressing our generosity and appreciation for life more often, which in turn, will result in us having a better quality life.
Question: How else can we be more grateful and generous this year?
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