5 Ways to Spend more Time Being Grateful.

5 Ways to Spend more Time Being Grateful.

Being grateful has amazing benefits. But you better believe that it can also be a struggle to maintain this state of being.

Let’s look at some reasons for we should work towards being grateful more often. As well as some ways to get there.

To be Grateful.

Being grateful is about maintaining a state of gratitude. It is about developing the art of appreciating life, as it is, as it was, and as it may become.

Gratitude as I know it is multiple things. It is a feeling, it is actions we can take, as well as a state of mind.

The feeling of gratitude generally comes when a certain range of actions are taken and our beliefs allow us to be. But it is also a choice that has to be made. We have to choose to be grateful, without a decision for staying grateful it is much more unlikely that we will hit that target.

Not only must staying grateful be chosen though, but it also takes great effort to maintain. It isn’t enough to just say I appreciate the blue sky today. I have to truly feel it! Emotion needs to be invested in the gratitude, the more sincere emotion the greater the feeling.

A state of gratitude is a desirable place to stay as much as possible. Why you ask? Let’s take a look at some of its benefits.

Benefits of Being Grateful.

The benefits of maintaining a state of gratitude are many which make it an entirely practical thing to do.

In my estimation, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Here are a few of those benefits!

1. Better Mental Health.

In many research studies about the effects of practicing gratitude, researchers have sought information on how gratitude affects individuals mental health. But for the most part, these studies focus on individuals that aren’t dealing with troubled mental worlds.

In this study, college students that are set to receive mental health counseling are the subjects of the test. The results of the study found that from the practice of writing letters of gratitude for others, without even sending them, helped these individuals experience better mental health both 4 weeks and 12 weeks after the studies completion.

The results of the study suggest something of high importance. It suggests that not only does gratitude help people with rather stable minds, but also can help some individuals with habitually stressed and anxious minds find better mental spaces.

2. Enhanced Mood.

Emotion and mood are different, though closely related concepts. In one analogy a mood state is thought to be the overall emotional climate an individual is experiencing. While on the other hand, emotions are like the individual instances of weather activity within the current climate.

Therefore mood is thought to determine the types of emotions that will be experienced. So if a person is experiencing a particularly good mood, the emotions they experience will generally follow suit.

There is evidence that making an effort to practice gratitude regularly for about a month will have positive effects on mood states.

They say that around a month is a good amount of time because less than that didn’t have the same effects on our upcoming mood climate. So the longer gratitude has become a habit, the more likely it will affect our emotional worlds positively.

This, of course, isn’t to suggest that mood states that don’t feel good will be eradicated. But it can definitely shorten the amount of time we reside in them, and they probably won’t come around as often.

3. Increase in Emotional Resilience.

To be resilient is to have the ability to bounce back and recover from difficulties. It is being able to have difficult events roll through our lives, and getting through them with a little grace.

We don’t usually get to choose when difficult events or emotions come into our lives. But having a consistent gratitude practice around when trouble does come, is a blessing.

It will help us stay in touch with the aspects of reality that are working in our favor. Which allows our already amped up bodily impulses, to relax. Relaxed bodies are fluid bodies, meaning that our emotions are much better able to show up, teach us what we need, and move on.

4. Sleeping Better.

Practicing gratitude also seems to help individuals catch a better nights sleep. In a research study, it is suggested that 15 minutes of gratitude writing every night before bed can help reduce the amount of worry students experienced. It also helped them sleep better.

The more stress that is present when trying to go to sleep makes it more likely that we will ruminate over whatever is troubling us. Being able to reduce that stress by focusing on aspects of life we are grateful for is a beautiful thing. It will bring us down to reality, settle our troubled minds, and allow us to connect with ourselves and the present moment.

Ideas for Creating a Staying Grateful Routine.

1. In the Morning.

Mornings can be a difficult time to deal with. There is a reason people joke about not being human until they have some coffee in them. As well as for why many of us have trouble not pressing the snooze button multiple times before finally waking up. When waking up our resistances to change are working in full force.

But making gratitude a priority as early as possible in the day is a way to set our attitudes and ourselves up for more enjoyable experiences.

Want to start tomorrow off in a better mood than usual. Set the alarm a half-hour earlier than normal. Then and as you roll out of bed and set your feet on the floor, sincerely say thank you for another day alive. Then do your best to extend the mental effort to stay grateful as the morning goes on.

2. Staying Mindful to Stay Grateful.

Probably the most difficult aspect of staying grateful is remembering to do so. With all the internal and external distractions we face, it is easy to get lost in the chaos.

To stay out of the chaos and in a state of gratitude, we must stay mindful. We must stay aware of our goal to remain in a state where we are appreciating life. This may take many reminders a day.

Pay attention. When that thought comes that has you feeling like life this moment isn’t good enough, let it pass. Just breathe and let all the nonsense pass. Even though some “idiot” did something you can’t stand, look at some aspect of the world you enjoy. There are, of course, many to be found in any given moment.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need to stand up for ourselves when we can do something productive with our situation. When remaining mindful and practicing gratitude, we are very capable of seeking out productive solutions to our problems.


Being Grateful

Photo by Hian Oliveira on Unsplash

3. Share it With Others Throughout the Day.

In the recovery community, I frequent, there is a saying. It states “My gratitude speaks when I care and when I share.” Meaning that when I show that I give a damn about other people I see throughout my day, I am going to feel better. The same goes for when I share with those people what I am grateful for.

Sharing gratitude with others can come in many forms. It could be letting them know we appreciate them by saying it. As well as letting them know by simply showing up with a good attitude and showing respect.

Another form of sharing gratitude doesn’t even have to be done in the other person’s presence. By bringing the person we are grateful for into our minds and offering them sincere gratitude, we reap benefits from this too!

This can actually be a way to learn to be grateful for people our personal boundaries won’t allow us to be around. Helping to get over resentments that we may wind up poisoning ourselves over with anger that feels insurmountable.

4. Writing them down.

Having a gratitude writing practice is a great item to have in our toolbox, for feeling better on a daily basis. Remember above when I said that 15 minutes of gratitude writing over time can help a person sleep better? Well, it can be done anytime throughout the day that permits it. And there are benefits to be found whenever we give ourselves the pleasure of writing 5 to 10 things we are grateful for.

Just going over a list of gratitudes in our heads is beneficial. But writing them brings even more life to them!

Feeling gratitude does take effort. The more effort we put into getting into staying grateful, without being obsessive of course, will bring about more blessings, and more good feelings.

5. Before Going to Sleep.

When going to sleep we are going into a suggestive state that allows processing of the day’s thoughts and activities. What we do before going to sleep has an effect on how our sleep benefits us. Filling our minds with a feeling of appreciation for what has happened and what is coming helps drop the need to problem solve on our way to sleep.

Who enjoys that feeling of trying to work out the issues of the day when it is time to drift off into slumber?

Just thinking about what we have to be grateful for, can take our minds off of this problem-solving. It can ease some of the stress of the day, allowing a nice surrender into the void of sleep.

Being Grateful

Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

A Call to Gratitude.

Life is not an easy thing much of the time. But practicing gratitude can make life a little more enjoyable, maybe even a lot more. Life will still be life though, hitting us with unexpected troubles and problems to solve.

If we aren’t able to adapt to these problems, even greater trouble is bound to manifest. Striving to be grateful, can keep us closer to the reality of things, focused on solutions instead of creating excess stress from focusing on our problems.

With life being life, and us being human, with all the ambitious bodily impulses, needs, and desires we have, it isn’t easy to remain satisfied all the time. It is easy to become dissatisfied and resentful. And even though these states are bound to happen, to stay there is toxic to healthy living.

Look, none of us are going to be grateful all the time. Though isn’t being grateful as much as possible still something to shoot for? We don’t have to beat ourselves up if we don’t always hit that target. But to leave our gratitude completely up to chance seems like a waste of opportunity.

To wrap this up I will send you off with a mission. Take what you have read here today, please apply it to your life in the upcoming week. Use these ways and please experiment with your own ways to stay grateful as much as possible.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We sincerely wish you amazing success in spending more of your life being in a state of gratitude.
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My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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Pushing positive energy through the negative.


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I am a strong believer in the law of attraction! I have also experienced how it works in my life.

When I put out positive energy I am met back with that same energy. Just the same as if I am putting out negative energy that is what I receive back. This has been a great thing for me to implement in my life and it ALWAYS works.

Lately even though I know it works, I have had an extremely difficult time putting out that positive energy, which is not something that you do just once at the beginning of the day. Rather, it is something that you continue to do throughout your entire day. That, or it simply will not be effective!

It has been very difficult to follow through on staying positive, as of late. I begin my day by thinking positively and feeling love for what’s to come, but when that first negative thought or feeling comes it can be easy to let it hijack my whole day.

One area that is hugely impacted is at work. I work at Costco, which I normally love, and I interact with people my entire shift.

I am sure everyone can relate to shopping and ending up with that crabby cashier which can put a damper on your whole experience! I never thought that I was the crabby cashier. Well, it turns out that I am more that person lately than I thought.

When one unreasonable customer begins pushing my buttons they no doubt are feeling my “stabby eyes”, as my husband calls them. If just one of these customers comes around I can have a drastic personality change! And it will make it more likely that others after them will feel my wrath.

I am generally an upbeat and friendly person who never minds striking up conversation with those who come through my line. I smile and laugh with others and love to help cheer people up. Currently I am none of those things which has got me a bit down.

It’s not that I don’t want to be grateful, because trust me I do. I think that with all the changes that have come with being pregnant and being off one of my medications, that it has become a lot harder to manifest the positivity that I once had. This only increases fear and anxiety in my life.

I find it important to see exactly how this is affecting my everyday life. Gaining perspective on this is what drives me to make changes. What I know is that this issue has stopped me from fully being myself, leaving me feeling irritated and angry.

I am done hindering myself from having a great day. I am also done preventing myself from seeing all the positive things that are going on around me!

Although I am not trying to do it intentionally, I am making things harder for those I am working with. Ultimately, I am making it hard for anyone who encounters the negative energy I am fostering. This includes my family, friends, and even my cats!


In my last post I mentioned how I would focus on bringing more gratitude into my life. This is something that can help me to attract positive energy, and not keep my day hijacked by the negative in my own head! Here are a few ways I have been able to do this!

1. Stop and list things I am grateful for in my head- This acts like a timeout if you will. Doing this at work helps to turn my mood around, even if for a few minutes.

2. I have a symbol to help remind me to be grateful- I picked this up from “The Power by: Rhonda Byrne.” I picked something that I love. Every time I see a turtle I stop and really invoke feeling of gratitude and love in my life. I see it in jewelry,on t-shirts, kid’s toys, and more. “Affiliate Link Below”

3. I take a moment to breathe- This allows me to slow down and relax a little. When this happens, I can focus on feelings of gratitude, and get back to my friendlier personality.

4. Putting myself in others shoes- At work I have found it helpful to think about how coworkers might be affected by my energy. I know that when I work with someone who is constantly negative it can take a toll on my mood and sometimes I find myself feeling negative right along with them.

5. Thinking helpful thoughts- When I can get outside of my head and think of helping others, that can keep me from treating them badly. Thinking of helping others has helped me to stop the negative thoughts and start thinking positive thoughts. Then I am able to laugh with and not criticize, to smile at and not scowl, and to love and not hate.

Each of these things helps me to incorporate more positive energy into my day, which is something that I really need right now. Actively practicing this is what makes for a good day and I become someone that others want to be around.

Well that is all I have for now! Thanks for taking a moment of your day to read this! Feel free to share if you found this to be helpful.

Also, look over to the sidebar and sign up to My Life Experiment’s email list to receive our free Therapeutic Writing Guide, and to receive My Life Experiment blog directly to you email!

I hope you have a great day!



My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


To Support My Life Experiment.
Developing “Magic” in My Life

Developing “Magic” in My Life

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Using “The Magic” for my Gratitude Experiment.

Hey everybody, today I am going to fill you in on an amazing book called “The Magic” that changed my life several years ago and up to the present.

About a month ago I set off on the “Gratitude Intention,” experiment, to get help with my mental and emotional health. In that experiment I laid out the method I would use to write the gratitude lists that were a big part of the experiment. 

I said that I would be writing 10 things to be grateful for and why I am grateful for them. This method has been incredibly helpful over the years, but it is not a method that I invented. It came from “The Magic.”

It was a great experience that I received great benefits from! But what the experiment also reminded me of was where my roots with the routine began.

About 7 years ago I was going through a breakup with my ex-fiancé. Though the breakup didn’t just have to be with my ex, it also had to be from her little boy. I went through a period where things were very sticky with my mind. Basically becauseI was having a terribly difficult time staying in reality and out of my obsessive mind.

In this time I latched on much closer to my recovery community, but I also found “The Magic.” And you better believe that am immensely grateful that I did!

What is the “The Magic”?

“The Magic” is the third book stemming from “The Secret.” You may know that “The Secret” is a book on learning how to use the “Law of Attraction” for creating abundance in our lives. If you didn’t know that then now you do!

You may be thinking, “oh great this fruitcake is going to tell me that if I think about a new car enough it is going to magically show up.” Well I am not writing this to promote “The Secret,” although it has some decent concepts in it! What I am interested in discussing is “The Magic,” and what it has to offer. And sorry but I don’t think new cars are going to instantly appear by applying this book either..

I would describe “The Magic” as giving a practical 28 day long guide to experiment with amplifying the level of gratitude in our lives. It is a 28 day long program to help develop a  long term habit out of expressing gratitude. “The Magic” fills in a lot of the details about attracting abundance that “The Secret” failed at doing, and wasn’t really designed to do.

I remember when I picked up the book, I started reading it and immediately wanted to speed read through because the content felt so inspiring. Speed reading wasn’t really allowed though because the book asked me to slow down and work on daily tasks. The different daily tasks gave me methods for pumping more love and gratitude into my life and any other relationships!

Two Routines that Changed my World.

Day one of the Gratitude Course is the 10 things I am grateful for and why, gratitude list. The next day is finding a nice rock to use as a gratitude invoking rock.

These two gratitude building methods stayed in my life for quite a long time after first completing the book. I wrote gratitude lists everyday for around 4 years, I also carried the rock for around 3 years. I still use in my life less frequently today, though they still have a powerful impact on me.

The daily tasks build on each other over the course of following the process. Though soon I was using several methods to build gratitude that really had me feeling on top of the world. This feeling did require work though, and adherence to practicing the steps that are provided. It also takes some letting go of judgment of the process!

This book fits My Life Experiment though and may not fit everyone’s experiment process. It fits My Life Experiment because I believe that there is a genius inside every human being, that will find a way to bring about whatever they desire if given the right tools. I have no doubt that intention, gratitude and hustling harder are the right tools. And this book has a process for developing more gratitude than any other book I have read before!

How my Past Experience with “The Magic” Turned out.

Remember how I was telling you about how “The Magic” came into my life. Yes the break up…

There was a month there where the grief of the break up had me moderately depressed, and extremely confused. I really wasn’t sure what to do with myself.

One very important thing that practicing “The Magic” and its rigorous form of gratitude building did was keep me out of my own head. It kept me focused on the beauty in my life and allowed me to remind myself that hope existed for amazing relationships and wealth to come into my world.

What it did for me was help keep me from sinking into the depths of depression, which is something that has happened many times throughout my life.

I am grateful for this book, I give it credit for helping me save my own sanity.

I have bought this book for several people over the years and will buy it for more as time goes on. If you are interested in purchasing “The Magic” there is a link set up for you below. Using this link to purchase “The Magic” as well as any other purchase you make through the Amazon Affiliate Link will benefit the purpose of My Life Experiment Blog.

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please Like and leave a comment below.
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My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


To Support My Life Experiment.

Getting Results with the “Compliment Experiment”!


Welcome back to My Life Experiment! If you are returning to read this blog, you may remember that I decided to partake in a “Compliment Experiment.” If you have not been here before and want to know what I am talking about, please check out the last article “Time to Open Myself Up with the Compliment Experiment” to get filled in.

I wrote the “Compliment Experiment” article 5 days ago, that gave me 5 days to focus on giving more and better-quality compliments to people around me.

During the 5 days of the experiment I did find it was easier to compliment others at times, and at other times it just wasn’t going to happen. There were times where I simply could not think about anything else other keeping myself from freaking out (let alone compliment someone)! There were other times where the compliments came out easily, with a smile. As well, a couple of times I worked myself through with a struggle and came out feeling great!

Just yesterday I finally found out some news. I became aware that the lady that helped me total my car in a accident the other week doesn’t have car insurance!

After getting that news, I found it very difficult to give any compliments. I was pissed off. Offering pleasantries felt against the grain, but I kept the experiment in mind and started looking for some opportunities to give compliments. I complimented a friend of mine, my wife, and then I just started complimenting myself in my thoughts. What started out as a very difficult emotional state, eventually worked into me feeling great.

In the last article I mentioned the process of saying three positive things after saying something critical about somebody.

As I paid attention to myself I found that I critique things pretty much constantly! Doing this much of the time out loud to people, but far more often inside of my own skull. It is actually pretty overwhelming to think how often my mind goes for the negative.

Pointing out too many “flaws” in people (myself included) doesn’t  lead to very happy relationships! That probably isn’t a shocker to many people, but hey I guess I am a slow learner at times.

This experiment helped me see a method for developing more appreciation for any relationship that I am a part of with others, myself, my job or life itself. The results do not tell me that I shouldn’t be critiquing any person or thing in my world (since a critique can help see something that needs to be fixed). But it has shown me that if I desire to be a grateful person, with happy relationships, that I better be filling up my relationships with appreciation for the qualities I enjoy.


The experiment also showed me a high-quality method for processing my emotions and keeping myself healthy, growing, and becoming more efficient.

As well, it showed me that when I’m alone with myself and talking about myself, that it is just as important to be giving myself enough compliments. Quite often, I am my own worst critic, and it is much easier to notice the qualities I enjoy in others when I am grounded in the recognition of my own.

And last of all, sometimes I am not going to be able to see the good in hardly anything but I don’t have to be too harsh on myself even if I cannot..

Pat on back

Thanks for checking out “My Life Experiment”, I feel that I know myself a little bit better after writing it. And now you probably know me quite a lot better! Now stay tuned because there is always something new to work on.


Opening Myself Up With the “Compliment Experiment.”

Welcome to My Life Experiment!

Recently i was in a car accident with a gal that may or may not have insurance. Dealing with the stress of this situation as well as getting charged for an extra months rent on our way to moving into our first house has been difficult.

Over Christmas I started realizing that the emotions I was feeling were making it too easy to get snippy with those close to me (such as my wife and a couple close friends). So I realized that I needed to do something about how I was feeling.

A solution that came to me is that I am going to focus on sharing more compliments with whomever i come into contact with, and especially those close to me.

I was given the advice one time from my recovery sponsor that “for every critique you have to give you should say at least 3 positives.” Which is an especially difficult thing for me to do when I have something that is painful to process. I certainly see the relevance of this advice though, it comes down to building up the my relationships instead of tearing them down.

It can be difficult for me to give compliments when feeling hurt. It seems like being positive when not feeling positive, forces me through processing the emotion. Also, acting out on the painful feeling is an attempt to process it, but an attempt that is mostly a fruitless one.

I once read a psychological study where the researcher set participants up to feel unwanted emotions, and then gave them outlets for processing them. The options given were to either knock around a punching bag or some other object, or to basically ride it out without the option of aggression in getting a participant to a more positive emotional place. The study found that acting aggressively did not actually help the emotional processing, and that doing nothing was actually more effective. I don’t believe its a stretch to say that if the participants were set up to give compliments after having the emotions pulled up, that it would be more effective than either aggression or doing nothing.

So my experiment over the next couple of days is to amp up the amount and quality of compliments I offer up, and see what kind of differences I feel as a result.

I am hesitant to give out more compliments, since part of me is wanting to lick its wounds and emotionally hide instead of move on to the next right thing. But ultimately what i really desire is to move forward with my life and focus on building myself and others up.

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In my next article I will let you know how the “Compliment Experiment” goes! So come back and join me in my journey as I seek more knowledge on how to live my life as effectively and enjoyably as possible!



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