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5 Unconventional Ways to Be More Grateful

5 Unconventional Ways to Be More Grateful

Gratitude is often correlated with high levels of happiness, as it births patience, perspective, and understanding. We all try to be more thankful for what we have, but unfortunately this idea slips between our fingers on a daily basis. Need a solution? Look no further– below are 5 unconventional ways to be more grateful!

1. Wish for what you already have

This weird trick works magic, no kidding! Wishing for what you already have allows you to be more aware of and thankful for the things you usually take for granted.

According to the tendencies of the hedonic treadmill, people constantly feel the need to stay in the loop. Once you satisfy your luxury tooth for the next iPhone, you will once again desire something more, something even better… and so the cycle continues. Through this process, it’s not actually likely that you’d achieve the expected level of happiness– because the hedonic treadmill is a trap. In other words, stop wanting, stop wishing, stop expecting… but I’ll admit, those rules are pretty harsh. Instead, the trick is to wish for what you already have.

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Case in point: Last year, I completely forgot that people receive gifts on their birthdays. So you can imagine my shock when I got presents as I turned a year older! Unlike previous years, I hadn’t been counting down the days to my birthday with a wish list in one hand and expectations in the other. From that point forward, I spent every birthday wish, every 11:11 wish, every shooting star wish… on something I already had.

Your turn: close your eyes and “wish” for a loving family, or “wish” for a home, or even “wish” for your life. Now open your eyes. It’s there, just as it has been there all along.

2. Go volunteer

People often say, “Remember the starving children in Africa.”

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It’s a wake up call for sure, and it’s true and real for sure, but the effect varies. Many people will feel guilty to some extent, although it won’t make them feel much better or grateful. Even still, others may feel annoyed or simply detached because the reminder is so overused.

But there’s a way to avoid that sort of detachment, and there’s a way to grow a fresh pair of eyes. It also involves remembering the less fortunate, but it’s actually hands-on this time: volunteer.

Volunteer and actually help those people or groups in need. Through actual contact and involvement, you will experience it for yourself. Helping others is fodder for a much-needed paradigm shift, and one that will make you more thankful.

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3. Remember that things could be worse

This is a mental trick that helps keep ingratitude at bay. Challenge yourself to think of a worse scenario than the one you encounter, and make it a point to repeat this process each time you experience adversity. Rather than being frustrated after misfortune, be thankful that it wasn’t something worse. Lost your wallet with $50 in it? Phew, at least you didn’t lose $100, or at least that one card with your life savings wasn’t in your wallet! Got a nose-bleed while giving a presentation in front of 20 people? At least it wasn’t in front of 2,000, or at least it wasn’t a gusher!

4. Write down your blessings

Don’t just count your blessings; write them down! By giving yourself 5 minutes every night (or morning) to jot down what you’re thankful for, you practice active mindfulness. The physical act of writing can also make you remember better, and what better way to take advantage of that fact than to write your blessings?

5. Share the attitude of gratitude

Don’t keep gratitude to yourself! Spread the love. Take the time to thank someone in your life who has made an impact on you, big or small. Sometimes it takes a physical action in order for you to realize how grateful you truly are.

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Featured photo credit: Tyssul Patel via s3.amazonaws.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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