Most human beings long to connect with others, but it doesn’t come naturally to many. It’s hard to get close to people every day, especially if you live a busy, work-filled life or struggle in social situations. But when you practice gratitude, you can change your perspective and help build connections.
One of the best ways to connect with the people around you is to feel more grateful and appreciative. These positive mindsets do wonders for attracting positive people and building a network of people who want to be close to you and your energy.
But of course, easier said than done. How can you ensure that you can bond with the people around you, and what does being grateful have to do with everything? Here are five ways to practice gratitude to appreciate things and connect with others.
1. Pause to express gratitude for the practice
Saying “thank you” is woven into the fabric of polite society, a fact that, in its own way, has devalued the meaning of the word. After all, when was the last time you thanked someone and took the time to really show it? Are you sure the recipient felt the full weight of your gratitude?
Showing your appreciation is, surprisingly, a skill that should be practiced. The easiest way to do this is to practice it in day-to-day interactions, like when you pick up your next Starbucks drink or when the cashier has put your items in a bag. You can start with:
- Looking for opportunities to thank someone, be it a friend or a stranger
- Pause and ignore distractions for a moment
- Making eye contact while expressing gratitude
You can also add it with little gestures like:
- Nodding your head
- Be detailed in what you are thanking them for if you can
Once you start practicing this regularly, you will quickly see how easy it is to connect with people and make a positive impact on their lives.
2. Give back to a community
To truly connect with those around you, you will need to get out of your head for a moment and into the minds and lives of others. That way, you can learn to positively influence those around you and be grateful for what you have. But how can you do that?
Volunteering not only helps those around you, it can help you too. Research has shown that those who actively volunteer report feeling happier and more satisfied with their life and sense of themselves. They also end up being healthier, both in body and mind. And this is before you consider that volunteering in and of itself is a great way to get to know your community and those in it!
Give gifts to individuals and groups
A gift is a great way to physically and tangibly remind someone that your care and effort are reciprocal. Try giving someone you appreciate a personalized gift or walk into an office with some brownie trays. You’ll quickly see how quickly a room can light up with that act of kindness!
Perform random acts of kindness
The fact that it is not a deliberate act does not mean that it is worth less. TO study has shown that regardless of familiarity, random acts of kindness can increase happiness to a substantial degree. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness (like someone offering you a helping hand with your purchases), you know what an impact it can have. It’s certainly easier to keep positive thinking in a kind world, after all!
3. Notice the good things
With the amount of negativity in the air, it is easy to get bogged down with the weight of the world. Positive thinking may seem like a naive practice in these circumstances.
However, the truth is that remembering the good and elevating the positive is an essential tool in your fight against the world’s apathy. Counter that doom and gloom with gratitude. Some ideas include:
Zoom in gratitude
We tend to magnify the bad and minimize the good, especially if we focus on the former. But there is always a positive side to every situation, no matter how small. So when you find yourself caught in a spiral of negativity or facing tough times, try looking for the good. What benefit is there? What lessons are there to learn? Finally, what good do you have that you can hold on to and be thankful for, even in these difficult times?
Notice the good in people and the world
It is easy to feel powerless in the face of the vastness of an indifferent world and feel overwhelmed by it. But there is something you can do that will leave a massive and positive impact on those around you, and that is to observe and appreciate the good that you see. Maybe it’s someone’s handwriting or the way they smile, or the energy they bring to the table. Whatever it is, start your interactions by sharing something you appreciate about the other person. You will find that they will open up to you quite quickly and you will find yourself connecting with the world around you on a deeper level than you bargained for!
Don’t be picky when you practice gratitude
You don’t have to reserve genuine gratitude just for the great things! You can practice gratitude in everything, big and small, from the way a pen fits in your hand to the way the wind dances through the leaves in the late afternoon. Practice gratitude even for the little things It teaches you to appreciate the details and texture of your daily life and makes your life even richer for it.
Why exactly do we teach our children to be thankful? Turns out there is a good scientific reason for this. Research It has been shown that adolescents who appreciate what often feel most satisfied and optimistic, indeed, a blessing during the difficult times of youth.
That said, this doesn’t mean it’s too late to learn and practice gratitude. Turns out, you can start at any age and reap its benefits right there. Better late than never, in fact, and you can put this life-changing skill to work by:
Start each day and end each day with gratitude
Start your day off on the right foot by considering something for which you are grateful in as much detail as possible, and then place it on an equally high note. What have you overlooked? What presences are you grateful to have in your life? They don’t have to be great or grand moments, and you don’t have to be the sole recipient of your opening and closing acts of appreciation. Think about how much you appreciate someone you care and inspire them by letting them know!
Think of three gratitudes before doing your first job task
It can be easy to forget active appreciation, especially when it comes to starting a new habit. The easiest way to overcome this? Pair it with something you already do regularly! That way, it will be easier for you to form that new habit. Bonus points if you can match your three thanks to your work or your team by sending them a thank you email before you start working. It will certainly be a good start to your day!
Imagine your life without things
Have you ever considered how many things have to go right so clean water can come out of the tap at all times? Or how would you feel if you didn’t have access to music and books to enjoy and inspire? Take a moment to consider what your life would be like with the loss of an individual, a little thing you take for granted. For example, the refrigerator works or the lights turn on with a touch. It’s a great way to practice deep gratitude and helps you appreciate how often things turn out well for us in ways we never see.
5. Spend time with the people you love.
Despite how much we love our friends and family, it can be too easy to take their presence in our lives for granted. It’s only in their absence that we begin to realize how valuable those little things about them are, which really shouldn’t be the case. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Do not leave regrets
Focus on creating memories in the here and now. Every moment should be an opportunity for you to create memories that you can fondly remember, whether it is something great and exciting like paragliding or something small and domestic in how they look through the mist that curls your cup of tea.
· Pay attention
Gratitude and appreciation should come from observation, so pay close attention to your loved ones. Be on the lookout for the little things they do to show that they love you. Maybe they come to you first because they trust you or because they feel physically comfortable with you on a level that they don’t share with others. Whatever it is, it deserves due attention and encouragement.
Start the conversation
With how busy our lives are, it can be easy to forget to spend time with loved ones. Think about the last time you actually sat down and spent time together. Are you both up to date with what is going on in your respective lives? When was the last time you gave them a moment of unadulterated attention? Even if you talk to them in a group chat every day, you will find that it is not a substitute for one-to-one quality time. So don’t wait for them, try to communicate first!
To connect with others, show them you value them. Show them that you live a life where nothing and no one is taken for granted. Show them that you will be an excellent companion for them.
Your positivity will attract others in time, giving you more starting points to start a connection. In short, practice gratitude, appreciation, and compassion for othersAnd you will attract great people!