Lately, gratitude projects have become quite popular among people of all ages and lifestyles, and for good reasons. Studies have shown that in recognizing and being grateful for the things in your life that deserve gratitude happiness levels have been increased by up to 25%. Some claim that it has positively influenced their relationships with others as well as their spiritual, physical, and mental well-being. Thanksgiving is not the only time of the year to reflect on the things we have to be thankful for and spend time with the people we love. Why limit the happiness and sense of peace that comes from gratitude to one day a year? With gratitude projects, thankfulness can become a part of your everyday schedule. Taking a few moments everyday to be thankful and grateful for all that we have in our lives can be a freeing, stress-relieving practice, taking our minds off of the negative for a few moments and re-focusing our brains on the positive, beautiful aspects of life. I hope you can find a gratitude project that works for you, and feel the benefits of showing gratitude in your own life!
As students, we have pretty busy schedules, and don’t always have time for a lot of extra activities. That’s why I’ve found 5 daily gratitude projects that don’t take up too much time; and can easily fit into a busy student’s schedule (not to mention they cost little to no money, as our budgets tend to be just as tight as our schedules!).
- Morning Coffee Gratitude
2. Putting things into perspective
With busy exam schedules and tight impending essay deadlines, things don’t always go the way we want them to. I know I’ve gotten exams back and looked at my grade and wished I’d spent just a little more time studying. But gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for only the positive moments in our lives. By asking questions such as, “what did I learn from this experience?” or “how can I benefit from this?” we can put negative situations into perspective and put at least a little bit of gratitude and positivity into our day.
3. Gratitude Trigger
Placing an object somewhere in your home, dorm room, or even your notebook that will remind you of the things you have to be grateful for can be a quick and easy way to boost your mood. For instance, place a picture of your loved ones in your binder to remind you of the wonderful people you have in your life, or by placing a “thank you” sign above your desk you can remind yourself to be grateful during the good times and the bad.
4. Gratitude partner
It can be difficult to motivate ourselves to be happy and positive when we’re in the middle of a stressful time, so finding someone to be your “gratitude partner” can help you to feel thankful even on those not-so-great days. You can feed off of each other's’ ideas and remind each other of the things you each have to be grateful for on those days where it may be hard to come up with something on your own.
5. Gratitude journal
Another easy, affordable way to show gratitude is to use a gratitude journal and write down at least one thing a day you have to be grateful for. You can use a piece of scrap paper, buy a cheap journal or notebook, or even start a file or memo on your cellphone or laptop. When you’re feeling down, you can read through these daily gratitude entries and remind yourself of all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for in your life.
Everyone has things to be thankful for, and sometimes it can be hard to remind ourselves of the positive in our lives, especially when we’re under a lot of stress. But, by taking a few moments everyday to show gratitude, we can lighten our moods and benefit our mental and spiritual health. I encourage you to try one of these quick and easy gratitude projects, or check out www.365grateful.com or http://daringtolivefully.com/gratitude-exercises for more easy ideas to get you started on your path to living a more grateful, thankful life!