4 Easy steps to start your gratitude practice

mindset self-care May 25, 2022

One of my daily practices is gratitude, and we call it “thank you for” in our home. I believe the practice of gratitude and appreciation are vitally important to being and feeling healthy and beautiful. If your days are hectic, you are chasing your tail, you have a lot of negative self-talk, or you are constantly tired and overwhelmed, I encourage you to begin a gratitude practice. It will be transformative. Read on to explore some simple ways to introduce gratitude into your life.

 

Gratitude is a powerful force, with research demonstrating physical and psychological benefits, including a more robust immune system, better sleep patterns, increased stamina, enthusiasm, determination and focus. Most people who practice gratitude throughout their day have higher levels of positive emotion, are optimistic about their future and are more resilient during difficult times. Some people also discover that their social connections are more intimate. They are more compassionate, generous, helpful, and less prone to loneliness while practising gratitude.

 

According to Deepak Chopra, “Gratitude is good for you; it creates a biochemical shift in the body. The default thought most of the time, and you will feel inspired and happy, sleep better, smile brighter, and see the beauty in and around you. Your brain responds to positive input and sends life-enhancing messages to every cell.”

 

With all these incredible benefits, here are some steps to begin your gratitude practice. Before we get into them, your gratitude practice does not need to encroach into your already full day. In the beginning, it may take a little more time, and you may struggle with seeing the good things around you. However, once you become rehearsed, you will discover a shift where gratitude becomes your default thought most of the time, and you will feel inspired and happy, sleep better, smile brighter, and see the beauty in and around you. 

 

Here are 4 steps to begin your gratitude practice

 

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Sometime during the day, preferably at the end of the day, in a quiet moment before you turn off your light to sleep, write or draw at least three things that make you feel grateful. Anything from that, you are thankful you have a flushing toilet to the smile you received from a stranger that day. Focus on experiences, adventures and connections. This will ensure that no matter what you have or don’t have concerning material wealth, you can always continue in gratitude and appreciation. Search past big things to include little things. This practice will help a state of gratitude and appreciation become your natural state of being. Over time, you will notice that you begin to see the things you like where you didn’t believe you could.

If you experience a block in your thoughts, ask yourself who or what inspired me today? What made me laugh today? What is something I take for granted?

Stay inspired by not repeating the same things in your journal. Dig deeper, open your eyes and heart wider to see something that enhances your life and brings you joy.

Whatever time of the day you choose to journal, keep that as your regular time. This consistency will create an anchor where thoughts will come easily to you.

 

2. Write a letter of appreciation

This can be done in different ways. Choose someone who may have changed your day, had a profound impact on your life or shared a sad or joyful moment. With this person in mind, write words on a page that will never be seen, or write a letter, card or email that you will send. Be specific with your description, include the details of your gratitude and share how that experience made you feel.

While telling someone of your gratitude is wonderful, writing it down is like giving someone a piece of treasure. It can be re-read and bring joy at any time for them. What a beautiful way to send ripples of love out into the universe!

 

3. Walk with your senses

Take a walk without headphones and other distractions. Walk for at least 20 minutes and pay attention to your senses. Pay attention to everything you hear, feel, smell, and maybe taste. Within these sensory moments, find things to be grateful for. The sun on your skin, the sky, the crunch of leaves under your feet, the crash of the ocean, whatever is around you. A gratitude walk is beneficial when you feel low, stressed or worried. The change of environment and ability to stay present in appreciation of your surroundings will shift your mood and open a flow of gratitude that will elevate your feelings to an abundant positive state.

 

4. Look to those around you

We all want to feel valued and appreciated, especially by those we love. This gratitude experience may be practiced toward anyone you love, your partner, children, parents, and friends. Find ways to demonstrate your appreciation by acknowledging their actions about ordinary matters. Say thank you for receiving a work report on time, the kids making their beds without you having to remind them, spending the day in the garden together with your partner, and noticing and appreciating mundane things without expectation and judgment. Take moments to imagine what their reality is like day to day. This can be hard initially, as we often choose to see the world only through our lenses. If you want deeper connections master this process. When you begin to share the world through the eyes of others, well, the love and gratitude you feel will make you giddy.

 


Develop your self-awareness of when you are thankful, how you express gratitude, and how you feel physically when you are in a state of gratitude. Continue these steps regularly and become a student of gratitude. Remember to be graceful in your acceptance and receiving of gratitude. Don’t minimise gratitude shown to you by others. Practice enjoying the experience.

 

I believe that we may not always feel happy or like our circumstances; however, we can feel gratitude and appreciation for the lessons or love we feel at the time.

 

Enjoy the journey to being in a state of gratitude and appreciation, and let me know in the comments below what you are grateful for?


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And as always, remember your reasons, your health, your mission and the people you love.

 

OM xx

 

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Image Courtesy Giulia Bertelli

 

 

 

 

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