5 Ways to Spend more Time Being Grateful.

Being grateful has amazing benefits. But you better believe that it can also be a struggle to maintain this state of being.

Let’s look at some reasons for we should work towards being grateful more often. As well as some ways to get there.

To be Grateful.

Being grateful is about maintaining a state of gratitude. It is about developing the art of appreciating life, as it is, as it was, and as it may become.

Gratitude as I know it is multiple things. It is a feeling, it is actions we can take, as well as a state of mind.

The feeling of gratitude generally comes when a certain range of actions are taken and our beliefs allow us to be. But it is also a choice that has to be made. We have to choose to be grateful, without a decision for staying grateful it is much more unlikely that we will hit that target.

Not only must staying grateful be chosen though, but it also takes great effort to maintain. It isn’t enough to just say I appreciate the blue sky today. I have to truly feel it! Emotion needs to be invested in the gratitude, the more sincere emotion the greater the feeling.

A state of gratitude is a desirable place to stay as much as possible. Why you ask? Let’s take a look at some of its benefits.

Benefits of Being Grateful.

The benefits of maintaining a state of gratitude are many which make it an entirely practical thing to do.

In my estimation, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Here are a few of those benefits!

1. Better Mental Health.

In many research studies about the effects of practicing gratitude, researchers have sought information on how gratitude affects individuals mental health. But for the most part, these studies focus on individuals that aren’t dealing with troubled mental worlds.

In this study, college students that are set to receive mental health counseling are the subjects of the test. The results of the study found that from the practice of writing letters of gratitude for others, without even sending them, helped these individuals experience better mental health both 4 weeks and 12 weeks after the studies completion.

The results of the study suggest something of high importance. It suggests that not only does gratitude help people with rather stable minds, but also can help some individuals with habitually stressed and anxious minds find better mental spaces.

2. Enhanced Mood.

Emotion and mood are different, though closely related concepts. In one analogy a mood state is thought to be the overall emotional climate an individual is experiencing. While on the other hand, emotions are like the individual instances of weather activity within the current climate.

Therefore mood is thought to determine the types of emotions that will be experienced. So if a person is experiencing a particularly good mood, the emotions they experience will generally follow suit.

There is evidence that making an effort to practice gratitude regularly for about a month will have positive effects on mood states.

They say that around a month is a good amount of time because less than that didn’t have the same effects on our upcoming mood climate. So the longer gratitude has become a habit, the more likely it will affect our emotional worlds positively.

This, of course, isn’t to suggest that mood states that don’t feel good will be eradicated. But it can definitely shorten the amount of time we reside in them, and they probably won’t come around as often.

3. Increase in Emotional Resilience.

To be resilient is to have the ability to bounce back and recover from difficulties. It is being able to have difficult events roll through our lives, and getting through them with a little grace.

We don’t usually get to choose when difficult events or emotions come into our lives. But having a consistent gratitude practice around when trouble does come, is a blessing.

It will help us stay in touch with the aspects of reality that are working in our favor. Which allows our already amped up bodily impulses, to relax. Relaxed bodies are fluid bodies, meaning that our emotions are much better able to show up, teach us what we need, and move on.

4. Sleeping Better.

Practicing gratitude also seems to help individuals catch a better nights sleep. In a research study, it is suggested that 15 minutes of gratitude writing every night before bed can help reduce the amount of worry students experienced. It also helped them sleep better.

The more stress that is present when trying to go to sleep makes it more likely that we will ruminate over whatever is troubling us. Being able to reduce that stress by focusing on aspects of life we are grateful for is a beautiful thing. It will bring us down to reality, settle our troubled minds, and allow us to connect with ourselves and the present moment.

Ideas for Creating a Staying Grateful Routine.

1. In the Morning.

Mornings can be a difficult time to deal with. There is a reason people joke about not being human until they have some coffee in them. As well as for why many of us have trouble not pressing the snooze button multiple times before finally waking up. When waking up our resistances to change are working in full force.

But making gratitude a priority as early as possible in the day is a way to set our attitudes and ourselves up for more enjoyable experiences.

Want to start tomorrow off in a better mood than usual. Set the alarm a half-hour earlier than normal. Then and as you roll out of bed and set your feet on the floor, sincerely say thank you for another day alive. Then do your best to extend the mental effort to stay grateful as the morning goes on.

2. Staying Mindful to Stay Grateful.

Probably the most difficult aspect of staying grateful is remembering to do so. With all the internal and external distractions we face, it is easy to get lost in the chaos.

To stay out of the chaos and in a state of gratitude, we must stay mindful. We must stay aware of our goal to remain in a state where we are appreciating life. This may take many reminders a day.

Pay attention. When that thought comes that has you feeling like life this moment isn’t good enough, let it pass. Just breathe and let all the nonsense pass. Even though some “idiot” did something you can’t stand, look at some aspect of the world you enjoy. There are, of course, many to be found in any given moment.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need to stand up for ourselves when we can do something productive with our situation. When remaining mindful and practicing gratitude, we are very capable of seeking out productive solutions to our problems.


Being Grateful
Photo by Hian Oliveira on Unsplash
3. Share it With Others Throughout the Day.

In the recovery community, I frequent, there is a saying. It states “My gratitude speaks when I care and when I share.” Meaning that when I show that I give a damn about other people I see throughout my day, I am going to feel better. The same goes for when I share with those people what I am grateful for.

Sharing gratitude with others can come in many forms. It could be letting them know we appreciate them by saying it. As well as letting them know by simply showing up with a good attitude and showing respect.

Another form of sharing gratitude doesn’t even have to be done in the other person’s presence. By bringing the person we are grateful for into our minds and offering them sincere gratitude, we reap benefits from this too!

This can actually be a way to learn to be grateful for people our personal boundaries won’t allow us to be around. Helping to get over resentments that we may wind up poisoning ourselves over with anger that feels insurmountable.

4. Writing them down.

Having a gratitude writing practice is a great item to have in our toolbox, for feeling better on a daily basis. Remember above when I said that 15 minutes of gratitude writing over time can help a person sleep better? Well, it can be done anytime throughout the day that permits it. And there are benefits to be found whenever we give ourselves the pleasure of writing 5 to 10 things we are grateful for.

Just going over a list of gratitudes in our heads is beneficial. But writing them brings even more life to them!

Feeling gratitude does take effort. The more effort we put into getting into staying grateful, without being obsessive of course, will bring about more blessings, and more good feelings.

5. Before Going to Sleep.

When going to sleep we are going into a suggestive state that allows processing of the day’s thoughts and activities. What we do before going to sleep has an effect on how our sleep benefits us. Filling our minds with a feeling of appreciation for what has happened and what is coming helps drop the need to problem solve on our way to sleep.

Who enjoys that feeling of trying to work out the issues of the day when it is time to drift off into slumber?

Just thinking about what we have to be grateful for, can take our minds off of this problem-solving. It can ease some of the stress of the day, allowing a nice surrender into the void of sleep.

Being Grateful
Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

A Call to Gratitude.

Life is not an easy thing much of the time. But practicing gratitude can make life a little more enjoyable, maybe even a lot more. Life will still be life though, hitting us with unexpected troubles and problems to solve.

If we aren’t able to adapt to these problems, even greater trouble is bound to manifest. Striving to be grateful, can keep us closer to the reality of things, focused on solutions instead of creating excess stress from focusing on our problems.

With life being life, and us being human, with all the ambitious bodily impulses, needs, and desires we have, it isn’t easy to remain satisfied all the time. It is easy to become dissatisfied and resentful. And even though these states are bound to happen, to stay there is toxic to healthy living.

Look, none of us are going to be grateful all the time. Though isn’t being grateful as much as possible still something to shoot for? We don’t have to beat ourselves up if we don’t always hit that target. But to leave our gratitude completely up to chance seems like a waste of opportunity.

To wrap this up I will send you off with a mission. Take what you have read here today, please apply it to your life in the upcoming week. Use these ways and please experiment with your own ways to stay grateful as much as possible.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We sincerely wish you amazing success in spending more of your life being in a state of gratitude.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

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How to Live a Life of Self-Respect.

Hey there! Today we are discussing the concept of self-respect.
To respect oneself is not always an easy thing to do. But let’s find some ways to help disrespect ourselves less. And of course, some ways to respect ourselves more.

Inevitable Disrespect on the Path to Self-Respect.

Self-respect is defined as “pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity.” It is a beautiful thing to be able to respect ourselves. But the path to being able to respect ourselves is not always an easy one. Quite often on the journey, we learn how to practice self-respect because of the pain of disrespect.

Feeling disrespected can come from anybody in any relationship. But I don’t feel off in saying that who disrespects us the most, is probably ourselves. We show ourselves disrespect in many ways. It, of course, may come from the actions of others. But more often from actions of our own. It is pretty much impossible to feel self-respect when we are allowing ourselves or others to treat us disrespectfully.

We must come to know what we are willing to put up with, and what we will not. Most of us disrespect ourselves often as we go about our days and our lives. The ways that we do this may be subtle, or they may be blatant. They may be something we are aware of, or we may be blind to the reality of our self-disrespectful ways.

Whether we are setting ourselves up to lose self-respect because of the allowing the behaviors of others, or our own, we must set personal boundaries with all these behaviors so they don’t cause harm to our ability to respect ourselves. But to set these boundaries we must first come to know ourselves, to know what is appropriate.

To Know Ourselves.

To respect ourselves, we must come to know ourselves. But what is it to come to know ourselves? We must become aware of our bodies’ impulses, habits, and tendencies. As well as what beliefs and morals are guiding these impulses. In a recent article we discussed coming to know ourselves so if you have any questions about that area please check it out.

Getting to know who we are, enables us to purposely act in ways that will enhance self-respect. As well as help us avoid the impulses to behave in ways that would dampen it. Knowing ourselves and accepting those new realities about ourselves will make behaving in ways that are trigger disrespect, much more difficult to act on. As well as give a powerful tug from our consciences that let us know we shouldn’t have done what we just did. Which may bring a stinging of guilt and shame but ultimately give us the chance to change our ways for the better.

Self-knowledge also allows us to understand and feel what boundaries we need to set with other people. Disallowing individuals to treat us in ways that may harm the way we view ourselves. We are the only ones that can truly figure out what we should put up with, and what we should not.

Coming to know ourselves on a deep level is immensely important, of course. But knowing ourselves is not enough for building the amount we respect ourselves. We also must learn to be ourselves.

To Be Ourselves.

Not only must one come to know themselves to respect themselves. We must also be ourselves to respect ourselves. By neglecting to be ourselves, we are showing ourselves disrespect. It is difficult to feel genuine self-respect when neglecting to act and speak in ways that reflect our nature.

The same goes for when we are consistently treating others with disrespect we are also disrespecting ourselves. Of course, treating people respectfully doesn’t mean just agreeing to everything they say or even refraining from arguing with them. And it certainly doesn’t mean letting them walk all over us. Challenging other people to think, and having firm boundaries with others, respects ourselves well at the same time respecting the other.

Acting by the Golden Rule asks us to “treat others as we would like to be treated.” This universally believed rule is at the heart of most religious thought. It implies that it is in our nature to desire respectful treatment. And in our nature to give it. There are physiological rewards to be found in treating others well. It is a beautiful outlet for our bodily impulses, which are pleased when given a connection to our fellows.

To be ourselves is to allow the energy that flows within us to have its healthy expression which breeds self-respect. To close our energies off from healthy expression, or expressing in harmful ways we as well as our self-respect will suffer. Whether we are immediately aware of this or not.

Developing a Self-respect Routine.

The responsibility for respecting ourselves rides solely on our own shoulders. This responsibility is a great one. Requiring our commitment and vigilance to a routine that will make consistent self-respect not only a possibility but a reality.

1. Self-respecting Routine.

To build a self-respecting routine. We must come to know ourselves, to come to be ourselves, to respect ourselves. A routine is something that we set in place, scheduling in activities that will make results that we desire, possible. To get the most out of a routine it must consistently enough that it almost becomes second nature. Though at first and at difficult times, it may feel like something very foreign, even intrusive to our lives.

But to build self-respect, consistent application of self-respecting actions is a must. All the thinking in the world will not be enough to keep us in a self-respecting state.

2. Resolve to Show up and Be Productive.

It’s, of course, important to show up to be a part of our relationships, as in being physically present. But it’s entirely another thing to ACTUALLY SHOW UP. Meaning that we are engaged, actively listening, and looking for creative solutions to problems.

To really show up to life takes commitment. It requires that we are mindful, thoughtful, and seeking to help. This is whether at work, home or in the community. Routinely seeking to enhance the quality of our surroundings has positive effects on the growth of self-respect.

3. Treating Others Well.

To treat others well is to treat them respectfully. It is to treat others as if they are intelligent and loving creatures. Even if they aren’t able to immediately prove that to themselves or most others. Treating others well means dropping our harsh judgments about there characters. Instead, seeking to honor their positive qualities.

But treating others well is also about developing healthy boundaries. By letting someone take advantage of our kindness, we are not respecting them. We are only allowing their disrespectful routine to run havoc in their, and our lives. Not enabling the crappy actions may not end their unhealthy routine, but it will send a loud message. And just maybe we can help change the course of their life. There are plenty of other healthy places to direct our kindness,

For today I urge you to do something to respect the nature of some individual in your life. Whether that is giving a compliment, offering assistance, or even telling them no and that you can’t allow them to use you anymore. Do this today, and look to do it tomorrow, that is what consistent routines are all about, consistent practice.

4. Engage Routinely in Healthy Activities.

To engage in healthy activities is to do something enjoyable. That could be going outside to shoot some hoops, knitting a sweater in a, calling a friend or writing a novel. It can be anything really, anything that you enjoy. Set out to do something every single day that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to cause a dime, but it will cost just a little bit of time.

5. Respecting our Emotional States.

When feeling emotionally heavy and run down it can be difficult to feel respected, as well as difficult to keep up with a routine. And that is okay, emotions run through us often that simply do not feel good. It really isn’t even reasonable to think that we will always feel good. But when you are not feeling good, to respect that feeling, is also respecting yourself.

You can also respect that feeling by kindly but firmly letting it know that all is going to be okay. And that getting up and having a little bit of fun, practicing gratitude or processing some of this emotion through therapeutic writing will help out greatly. Emotions come and go if allowed. The more we respect them, the less likely they will trigger our impulses to act in ways that will damage our self-respect.

Continuing with a self-respect building routine will also help with our emotional state. The stronger we adhere to the routine, the more secure we will be to process these emotions successfully. And the more successfully we process these emotions, the faster we will get back to more positive frames of mind.

Doesn’t more positivity and self-respect sound good to you?