It’s nice to count your blessings on momentous occasions, but what if you could go through life being thankful every day?
You CAN! Science has proven that practicing gratitude has tremendous benefits for your quality of life. Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day and the best part? It’s free!
From opening the door to relationships to improving physical health, gratitude has enhanced empathy and reduced stress. Start your gratitude practice today. I'm here to help you get started.
Take Your Gratitude Practice Somewhere New
The best way to deepen your practice is by mixing up your methods! For example, if journaling is getting stale, replace the practice with something else for a few days.
Try one of these fun ideas to help you get started:
Post quotes and images that remind you to be grateful around your house
Make a gratitude collage, and cut out pictures of all the things that you are grateful for
Here are some gratitude quotes I love:
"Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It's the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul." - Amy Collette
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
"In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This is your time to really get creative with your practice. So, I encourage you to mix it up!
Make Time For Meditation
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind of negativity. There are many meditation techniques to choose from, but I'm going to focus on something called mindful meditation for this post.
Mindful meditation involves focusing your attention on your breathing, as well as taking moments to simply observe and be aware of things around and within you. The purpose of the practice is to train your mind to be firmly focused on the present moment.
I encourage you to use your gratitude list for inspiration. If you haven't created a gratitude list, do it first. During your meditation, when you catch your mind wandering, bring it back with a reminder of something you are grateful for.
Here is a simple guide you can use:
1.) Begin in a comfortable seated position. 2.) Leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus, take one deep breath in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. 3.) Gently close your eyes on your exhalation and resume normal breathing. 4.) Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment. Feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor, and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs. 5.) Gently bring the focus back to your breathing and notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation. 6.) When you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath and your gratitude list. 7.) Gradually bring the attention back to your body and the space around you. Then gently open your eyes again. 8.) Take a moment to soak in how that felt for you before going about your day.
Start with 2 or 3 minutes a day, working up to 20 minutes for optimal benefits.
Stay thankful by freshening up your thanks.
The best way to continually reap the benefits of gratitude is to identify new things you are grateful for.
You might always be grateful for your family; however, repeating the same things week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh, new things to be grateful for.
Try getting as specific as possible when you describe what you are grateful for. Instead of simply writing, “I am grateful for my family,” write why you are grateful.
Some examples, are “I am grateful that my partner prepared us a meal tonight,” or “I am grateful for my coworker for making me laugh.”
Part of embracing an attitude of gratitude means taking the time to find the little details that make up the beauty within your life.