How To Practice Gratitude As a Teenager In 2022
Welcome to this post on how to practice gratitude as a teenager in 2022!
At the time I’m writing this, Thanksgiving was three days ago. We all know that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and grateful for everything in our lives, so there was no other blog idea that came to my head other than practicing gratitude.
To start off, it’s important to know what gratitude actually is. Google’s definition is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude is not something we should practice just during Thanksgiving. It’s something we should choose to practice all throughout our lives, regardless of what month or season it is.
As teenagers, it’s super easy to pretend to be grateful for something but how many of us actually practice true gratitude?
Personally, I don’t practice it enough. But, my goal is to be able to have gratitude naturally without having to force the feeling within my mind.
Also, it isn’t just the new gadgets we get that we should be grateful for. Instead of being grateful just for our new iPhone or new pair of shoes, we should be grateful for everything – for having a bed to sleep on, a roof over our heads, food on the table. Not only this, but we should also be extremely appreciative of being able to have a proper education, a loving family, and so much more.
As you can see, there’s a lot to be grateful for, every single second of our lives. Practicing gratitude is not only great for realizing how blessed we are in our lives, but also for improving our mental health. Practicing gratitude is a great way to increase your happiness, improve your mood, increase hope for the future, and also increase your resilience.
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude is something we all can practice more off, and there’s no limit to the amount we can express. Every day, we should take the time to be thankful and appreciate what we have, as not everyone may have the opportunities you have in life. So this brings us to the question: How? How can we practice gratitude?
The rest of this blog focuses on 10 different ways you can practice gratitude, so without further ado, here they are:
1. Keep a journal
The first way to practice gratitude is by writing in a journal. Make it part of your daily routine to take a couple of minutes each morning or each night to write about different things, experiences, or memories you are grateful for. You could be grateful for items you have, people you love, or events that you are thankful for happened. Whatever it is, write it down. This is because when you are putting pen to paper, you are focusing on the things you are writing down without letting other unnecessary thoughts take over your mind.
I highly recommend checking out this gratitude journal: “Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude”
Also, be sure to check out my blog on the importance of writing in 2022!
2. Remember the bad
To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.https://www.mindful.org/an-introduction-to-mindful-gratitude/
Yes, you can and should be grateful for the bad times in your life. Things happen for a reason. So, while something may have appeared unfortunate before, it probably shaped your life for the better and made you the person you are today. Not only this, but it can even help you be even more thankful for all the good that you have in life!
3. Express yourself
Sometimes it’s not enough to simply keep your gratitude to yourself. You can increase your feelings of gratitude by expressing that same gratitude to the people you care about.
Soul Pancake, a group that works to discover the “science of happiness,” ran an experiment where they encouraged people to write a letter to a person they were grateful for. By itself, this exercise increased their levels of happiness from 2 to 4%. However, when the same people made a phone call to the person they were thankful for to express their gratitude directly, happiness levels jumped from 4% to 19%.
Not only does expressing your gratitude for someone make their day a little brighter, but it can do wonders for increasing your own levels of gratitude and happiness in the long runhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2016/07/08/8-ways-to-have-more-gratitude-every-day/?sh=403a69091d54
Gratitude is even better when expressed and shown into the world!
4. Spend time with those you love
If you are struggling to find gratitude, spend time with people you love, like your friends and family. Spending time with them will give you an opportunity to practice your acts of gratitude and show them that you care about them and are thankful for them being part of your lives.
You don’t have to write a 1-page letter to them (unless you want to, of course.) All it takes are small actions that mean a lot to others. For example, listening when one person is telling a story instead of interrupting. Another great thing to do is compliment others. Or, you can simply just start a conversation with them!
5. Say “thank you” more often
The expression “thank you” may not seem like much, but these two words can have a big impact on the person you are saying it to, as well as yourself. If a family member made lunch for you, saying thank you will make that person happy. If someone opened the door for you to enter a building, say thank you. It shows others that you are appreciative of what they do and have done for you.
It doesn’t require any extra effort to say this phrase. Whenever you notice someone do a nice gesture for you, always remember to say thank you and show your gratitude!
6. Be thankful when you learn something new
Another way to practice gratitude is to always be thankful when you learn something new. Education is such a powerful part of life, and can really help drive your success wherever you end up in life. Not all individuals have the opportunity to a good education, and we should be super thankful that we do.
Whenever you learn something new, you are building your knowledge and can use that knowledge to help you succeed in the future. So, always be grateful that you’re learning and never take it for granted!
7. Embrance your challenges
A lot of us view our challenges as bad problems that hinder us from achieving success and happiness in life. But, that is the exact opposite of challenges.
Challenges help us grow stronger and more resilient. After overcoming them, we now have the strength and power to go after success and be happy in life. They help us grow into better human beings who go after their goals no matter what.
As teenagers, we get discouraged when challenges arise and turn our back towards them. However, if we want to start practicing gratitude, it’s time to embrace them. Instead of turning away from them, embrace them and know that even though it might be hard to overcome the challenges now, it’s definitely going to be worth it later.
I encourage you to think of some past challenges you have faced and reflect on how it has shaped you into the person you are today.
8. Focus on the bright side
When times get tough, it’s hard to focus on the bright side. But, that doesn’t mean it is impossible.
There is always a bright side to things, even if we may not see it now.
Knowing that there is a good part to whatever is happening in your life is a great way to practice gratitude. Be thankful that whatever is happening is part of your life, as it will help you grow and evolve into a more mature individual.
9. Perform acts of kindness
Practicing gratitude is not just about being thankful, but also about being kind. “When you’re being kind to others, you’re not the only one who’s giving away something. In fact, you are getting a lot, if not more, in return.” (spiritualfitclub.com)
Kindness goes a long way in life, and is a great way to practice gratitude. It is not absolutely necessary to put in a lot of hard work and effort into a kind act (but, that is always welcome) – all it takes is small steps, like opening the door for another person or even just smiling at another individual.
10. Practice mindfulness
Last but not least, practicing mindfulness is a huge part of practicing gratitude. “Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. The trick is that you need to picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. Doing this every day will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier after every session.” (Forbes)
Gratitude is such a powerful emotion and is a great way to block out negativity from your life. As teenagers, we are always so obsessed with what we DON’T have, that we forget about how lucky we are for the things we DO have. And as a result, we feel discouraged and unhappy instead of blessed and joyful.
Practicing gratitude isn’t hard at all. All it takes is being observant and thoughtful. It doesn’t require any extra time or hard work into it, but we do need a positive shift in our mindset. As a recap, here are 10 ways to practice gratitude as a teenager in 2022:
- Keep a journal
- Remember the bad
- Express yourself
- Spend time with those you love
- Stay “thank you” more often
- Be thankful when you learn something new
- Embrace your challenges
- Focus on the bright side
- Perform acts of kindness
- Practice mindfulness
In order to practice gratitude, you don’t have to immediately start doing all ten of these habits. Start small by focusing on habit, and then slowly adopting the other ways later on as well. Remember: quality > quantity.
After practicing some of these habits for about a month, you’ll be able to notice a great change in how you see yourself and the world around you.
If you’re interested, be sure to watch this TED video called, “Discover the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock Your Happiest Life!” by Jane Ransom.
Because this blog is about gratitude, I want to add in here how thankful I am to be able to write these blogs for this website and how appreciative I am of all the readers, including you!
Since it’s almost the end of this blog, list 5 things to yourself that you’re grateful for right now. Feel free to comment what you think of below!
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.Oprah Winfrey
With that, thanks for reading and have an amazing day!
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