As humans, we tend to get caught up wishing for things that we don’t have, and comparing ourselves to others. This can be detrimental to our peace of mind and may leave us unsatisfied or unfulfilled.
We have the power to change this with a few simple steps that will lead us in the right direction and to a place where we can begin appreciating all that we have in life.
The Importance of Appreciating What You Have
Appreciation provides us with clarity and a newfound love for life. We are able to explore all areas of giving, satisfaction, and love through appreciation.
The simple practice of expressing gratitude each day can completely move us into a new emotional state, one of self-reflection, and peace within yourself. Our mental well-being flourishes through the process.
These are only some of the benefits appreciating what you have provides you Let’s go ahead and explore 15 ways you can embrace appreciation.
15 Valuable Ways to Appreciate What You Have
1.Count your blessings (literally) with a blessings jar
It’s easy to want more than you have and even easier to forget how to appreciate what you have. A way to prevent this is by creating a blessings jar. Get a big jar that you can easily open and close.
Everyday write down something that you appreciate in your life and drop it into the jar. The next time you are feeling down about what you could have in your life, open your blessings jar and read them.
2.Make a list of people that make you happy
Another valuable way to be grateful for the life you have is to write a list of people that bring you joy. Sometimes you might wish that you were more popular and that you are alone in the world.
Writing down all the people that you love reminds you of how lucky you are to have them in your life. It also shows you how you are equally loved in return.
3.Spend less time on social media (or even delete it)
Research shows that social media is in a way, the thief of joy. According to the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, they state that social media is associated with a higher risk of depression and loneliness. They went on to say that it stemmed from social comparison.
How can you appreciate what you have when you are comparing it to what someone else might possibly have? Gain gratitude for what you have by only using social media for 20 minutes a day or less.
4. Educate yourself about the less fortunate
There are wonderful individuals who interview the homeless and upload them to YouTube. Search for some of these interviews to truly recognize how lucky you are in this world.
Seeing the struggle of what others go through will help you cherish what you have now. For an extra dose of appreciation, take the time to have a conversation with a homeless person and see how you can help.
5.Banish self-destructive thoughts
Cognitive behavioral therapy asserts that most negative thoughts stem from the way you are thinking about it. Instead of being envious of your friend’s new Mustang, take a step back and identify why you feel this way.
Do you really need it or want to pay all that money for it? The answer is likely a resounding no.
6.Write letters to those you love
When is the last time you wrote someone a letter? In the age of instant messaging, it’s probably been a long time. Appreciate what you have by sending some snail mail to some of your favorite people letting them know why you love them.
Or choose to write a happy memory you both shared. Your friend or family member will be wildly appreciative and you get to remind yourself of your blessings.
7.Consider attending gratitude training
Gratitude training is newer concept that has been gaining traction recently. Professionals take days to guide you through exercises to illuminate the beauty of your life.
The goal of the training is to help you understand what triggers thoughts that lead you to be ungrateful. These courses have helped people overcome serious depression without any medication. Get a dose of gratefulness by checking out a training.
8.Create daily affirmations
Wake up in the morning and confirm that your life is awesome with daily affirmations. Come up with positive mantras and say them out loud to yourself ideally in front or a mirror.
An affirmation could be that the universe works in your favor because you are worthy of it. Come up with at least a few and say them every morning. Do this to start the day out right.
9.Ask someone close to you what they love about you
At some point in your life you might have thought that you wish that you were more x-y-z. That you had more x-y-z.
Eliminate thoughts like these by calling a close friend or family member to ask them about what they appreciate about you.
Once they tell you, it will be impossible to ignore the fact that everything you need is inside you.
10.Do an activity with the homeless children at your local shelter
Did you know that one in every 30 children are homeless in the USA? Appreciate what you have by calling up your local homeless shelter to see what activities you can participate in to brighten the day of a homeless child.
The point of this isn’t to make you feel bad, but to help you see that what you have is a privilege. Use your privilege to uplift your community rather than berate yourself.
11.Have a self-care day
Give yourself a self-care day and thank every part of your body while you do it. Massage your legs and thank them for being so strong. Exfoliate your lips with a little sugar scrub and thank them for letting you speak words of kindness.
Appreciate what you have by appreciating yourself!
12.Get in touch with music
Behavioral scientists in the UK found that going to concerts improves your overall sense of well being. Go ahead and see that local live band. Perhaps purchase a pair of tickets to see your favorite band with a loved one.
While you’re there, allow yourself to enjoy the music and give thanks to the fact that you have everything you need (including collective musical experiences).
13.Be mentally present in life
It’s tough to appreciate what you have sometimes. It’s much tougher to do this when you are not mindful about the present moment at hand.
Whatever you are doing, commit yourself to the moment completely. Don’t compare yourself to another person’s beach bod. Just enjoy the beach!
14.Read a self-help book
Many professionals have dedicated their lives to helping people with gratitude issues. Go to your local library or book store to pick up a copy of a gratitude self-help book.
There are tons out there to choose from. Not a big reader? Get the audiobook instead.
15.Write a love letter to yourself
Everyone needs a reminder that they are wonderful and worthy. Put some pen to parchment and write down the reasons why you are proud of yourself. Practice self-reflection. If you’re feeling like you are not enough or what you have isn’t enough, read your letter.
Once you read it you will remember that your life doesn’t need to be changed. The only thing that needs to be changed is your perception of it.
Finding Appreciation Every day
You can find and practice appreciation each and every day. Try applying some mindful exercises such as journaling or writing down your gratitudes during your morning routine.
Put aside 20 minutes per day to reflect on your life and the current state it is in. Embrace all the good and joy it brings. Shift your mind to focus on the positive and pay attention to the simple pleasures in life.
Learning to appreciate what you have can have the power to completely transform your life. It may be difficult at times, with all the noise and distractions that surround us on a daily basis.
But if you intentionally make an effort to appreciate the people and things in your life, you will forever be grateful. Share your thoughts in the comments below: