8 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude Every Day
Gratitude is a whole lot more than just saying thank you. It is a way of life filled with belief and faith in goodness. Gratitude doesn’t happen naturally in a culture like ours, one that is rampant with complaints. Building gratitude requires conscious effort until it becomes part of your natural way of being. That’s why we have to practice gratitude on a daily basis, injecting it into our daily routines and making it a significant part of our thought processes.
Practicing gratitude is how we train ourselves for the lives we most want to have.
You can read more about how gratitude works in this article. But for now, I want to share with you eight simple tips for how and when you can put your gratitude practice into action everyday.
Keep a gratitude journal. Write down five things every day that you’re grateful for. Listing things helps us with recall which gives us a second opportunity (in case we missed the first) to feel grateful for the people places, things and circumstances in our lives that are special. I do this before bed, and take this good feelings into dreamland with me.
Around the dinner table, in addition to your normal mealtime prayer, create an opportunity for each member of the family to express what they are grateful for that day in particular. When we create this time sitting down as a family, we get to learn what’s important to the people we care about.
When you depart any location, take a moment to verbally thank someone for something you shared together. Maybe it was a small conversation, or they gave you important information, remember to acknowledge these small serendipitous encounters. If you are alone, take a moment to feel thankful for the reason you journeyed to a place and what you received there.
Driving in my car, I’m constantly fine tuning my awareness about how fortunate I am to have a nice economical car, easy traffic patterns, a beautiful sky as backdrop, etc. Most of us think while driving anyway. We have complete control over what we want those thoughts to be, so why not practice thinking good ones? If you’re going to be on the road, you might as well use high octane vibes to get around. Gratitude driving will make you a more relaxed driver, preventing stress and anxiety during your commute.
Walk for ten to fifteen minutes every day with the sole purpose of connecting with things you’re grateful for. It’s like journaling, but without pen and paper. You can begin by thinking of five things specifically in your life and call to mind the feeling associated with each of those things and let those feelings sink in. Recalling the linked feeling is a power booster for creating more of the same. After you finish your list of five, just take in the scene around you and notice what you like, linger there as if smelling the roses. Park farther away than you normally do and take the walking time to think thankful thoughts.
During your exercise warm up, thank your body and organs for supporting you in the life you’ve chosen. Think about how much you appreciate what you can do vs. thinking about your limitations. At the gym, send some silent appreciation to the group class instructor, your personal trainer or simply the folks who clean the bathroom. If you’re up for it, express your appreciation out loud. If you don’t go to the gym or workout in anyway, thank your legs for carrying you down the street or up the stairs. Thank your heart for beating strongly for so long. You get the idea.
Every time you swipe your debit card or open your wallet, choose to feel grateful for what you have. You may be giving it to another, but give it with thanks both for the fact you have it, and you can help others in having it too. When we bless our finances, we affirm that we are good with money and that we appreciate it and are welcoming even more into our life so we can share and circulate resources more fluidly. Never resent a purchase or a price…that’s the opposite of gratitude, a confirmation of lack.
Have you ever wondered where your good ideas come from? Next time you feel excited by an idea that you have, take a few seconds to feel a sense of thankfulness for that. Don’t overlook the value of an idea nor its source. Once you acknowledge the source of all your good ideas, it doesn’t take long before you learn how to go back to that place for more inspiration.
Gratitude is a percentage game. The more you can find to be grateful for, the less the other “not so great” stuff will bother you. It will still be there, of course, but you’ll be putting your attention on other things…things that make you happy and so won’t notice them as readily.
When you consciously choose to feel gratitude, you are inviting the divine within you to come forward in your life. Like a glass blower uses heat to pull a strand of molten glass from a rod, and then mold into something beautiful, you can use thankfulness to call on the divine to create more of what you say you are grateful for. Gratitude is the language we use to ask for what we want.
Thanks everyone for stopping by and have a beautiful weekend!
In Life and Love,