There is no time like the present to start developing a gratitude practice.
Embracing gratitude is enlightening, and when approached from a loving and curious place, can have a tremendous impact on emotional growth.
When our minds are busy appreciating things, it evokes positive emotion.
When we are filled up with positive emotion, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of space for negativity to move in.
The tips below are super easy to follow and really won’t require much time out of your busy day.
There are way more than 5 ways to incorporate a gratitude practice into your life, but the following are simple steps that you can start taking today.
Whether you want to try them all right away, or slowly introduce a new skill when you are ready, consistency and patience with yourself are key.
Hopefully you are feeling positive about getting started with a new practice and mastering some new skills, so let’s talk gratitude.
You may already do this, and that is wonderful! Perhaps try to say it more frequently. For example- your children are sitting quietly and playing nicely, take this opportunity to thank them!
You have just practiced gratitude and while doings so, offered some positive reinforcement to your children. It’s a win-win. Saying thank you can go a long way and can feel nice for the recipient. Next time you say it, feel it. Genuinely feel the warmth in your heart when you speak the words and reap the benefits of this simple, yet effective practice.
Make eye contact with someone and smile. Feel gratitude for the moment of brief, yet positive interactions. If you want to start small here, practice this at home with your family.
Once you start getting a bit more comfortable with the act of smiling, take the show on the road.
Smile at someone as you hold the door. Look up from your phone and smile at people walking down the street, or maybe walking past you in the office. There is a very great possibility that you will receive a smile in return, and that my friend, is a wonderful feeling.
It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial both mentally and physically, so in addition to reaping those rewards, take a moment to look around and notice all the things to feel gratitude for.
Breathe in the air and life that surrounds you. Notice nature, buildings, people, stillness- whatever is around you.
Notice it and appreciate it.
Savor the opportunity to notice the world.
If walking is not an option, use whatever means are available to notice and feel gratitude for the goings on all around you.
The first 3 are relatively simple. In all reality, you could take a quick walk, smile and say thank you all in under a few minutes.
The next 2 may be a bit more of a challenge, but with practice, will become easier.
Look around where ever you are and find things that you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as the socks on your feet, the sun in the sky, a delicious cup of coffee, or maybe even the roof over your head. Make a goal of taking inventory 2-3 times per day. You may notice that the more you practice this, the easier it will become, and eventually you will be feeling many moments of gratitude throughout the day.
This doesn’t have to be tedious or difficult Just simply jotting down a few things each day that you are grateful for, whether they are things, people, or moments, can have a profound effect on our happiness.
Journaling before bed and first thing in the morning have both shown to each have distinct benefits.
Jotting down moments of gratitude before going to sleep at night can help to focus the mind on the positives and hopefully put our minds at ease enough to drift off into a happier, more peaceful sleep state.
If you take the morning route (doing both is highly recommended!) start your day expressing gratitude and you are setting a higher frequency tone for your day.
To get you started with journaling journey, head here and download my Free Weekly Gratitude journal. It is my way of showing gratitude for you being here and reading this right now.
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