Gratitude is a powerful tool you can use to improve mental health and increase consistency in nutrition and exercise. To fully optimize gratitude, here's 3 of the best times to be intentionally grateful and how to do it.
1. When you wake up in the morning. "Your attitude determines your altitude" may seem like a corny saying, but it really is true! How we start our morning is crucial for setting the tone for the entire day. We've all fallen into the trap of waking up angry that we didn't get enough sleep, or our partner hogged all the covers, or looking forward to a long commute into our job. All that does is make our good days less enjoyable, and our bad days nightmares. To combat that, as soon as you wake up in the morning, say (out loud!) something you are grateful for. "I'm grateful I woke up with a roof over my head/had enough to eat last night/etc.". It can be the simplest thing, but it will make a huge impact on the rest of your day.
2. After you've done something hard. Especially with how crazy our lives can be, we oftentimes forget to truly appreciate what we do. Everything goes by in a blur, and we don't really internalize it when we complete a difficult task. If you finish a hard workout, or a work task/project, or a lot of yard work, anything that was hard, take 30 seconds after completion to just sit and think. Be proud of yourself for doing it, because there were probably times you doubted yourself or really didn't want to keep going. 30 seconds is all it takes to internalize your success. This will not only improve your current mood, but make you more likely to continue completing those tasks!
3. Tell someone else. There's probably many people in your life that you're thankful for, but don't tell them on a regular basis. Whether it's your partner, parents, or coworker, just take 5 minutes out of your week to give them a call, text, or tell them in-person that you are grateful for them. It doesn't have to be a huge show of affection or pouring your heart out, it can be as simple as "I appreciate you cooking dinner for me yesterday." Showing people that you care about them will go a long way towards their mental wellbeing, and improve your mood and attitude as well.