How to practice gratitude
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
— William Arthur Ward
This holiday season, I am seeking the meaningful, working to be useful, making my daily effort to cultivate growth, and still create space to find all the good things.
I know that not all family gatherings are light and breezy. Sometimes, tensions rise and things get strained.
The holidays are the perfect time to nurture self-love, stability, and sense of security. You are worthy of all good things.
Gratitude is designed to support you not only through this holiday, but every day moving forward.
Gratitude is the gentle reminder for you to practice grace - towards yourself and towards others. Every day, we wake up with a different level of energy and a different circumstance. Some days, we might float through life easily at our best. Other days, we aren't able to give as much.
Let gratitude support you in remembering that, although we live in a society that celebrates independence and everyone doing their own thing, we are all connected. WE are all doing the best WE can. Our words and our actions influence one another. The energy that we put out into the world influences all that we come in contact with. We are all in this world, together. Let's be gracious in how we are able to show up each day.
One really easy way to get started on a gratitude practice is to make a habit of counting your blessings both morning and night. You don’t even have to write them down, simply taking a few minutes when you wake up and before you go to bed is enough to begin cementing this new practice into your routine. Before long, you’ll be easily noticing that blessing abound.
Here are some tips to help you begin.
Remind yourself, you are awesome and you are supported!
Easing into any habit is usually the best approach. By making it easier on yourself, you’ll be more inclined to continue moving forward. So, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to come up with grand examples of gratitude when you’re just starting out. Just appreciating the bed where you’re starting and ending the day can be something to add to your initial list. Sometimes simply recognizing a tiny blessing can have a big impact.
Add It On
A helpful method for remembering your new gratitude habit is to add it on to your existing routine. Whatever you normally do in the morning and night, be sure to include a few minutes to think of what makes you feel fortunate. For example, if you have coffee…or tea…every morning, this would be a good connection to make. Sitting down with your hot beverage will soon become a reminder to contemplate on your three things.
Create Visual Reminders
If you find yourself forgetting to do it or skipping out on your new habit, add some visual cues to your environment. Post-it notes are great for this. Stick one on your nightstand. Add another to your bathroom mirror. Technology comes in handy for reminders, as well. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t fall asleep without taking time to consider what makes you feel thankful.
Turn It Around
Turn complaints around into something positive. Maybe you wake up with a sore back and don’t want to get out of bed. It may seem obvious, but reminding yourself that you’re in overall good health and that you have a safe place to sleep can do wonders for your outlook. Try to find the silver lining. It really works.
A good habit can be jotting things down during the day as they happen. It only takes a few seconds to make a note of what you feel grateful for in that moment. You can reflect on it later during your quiet bedtime routine.
Hopefully, you now see how getting into the habit of recognizing the good thing in life really isn’t all that difficult. A few small changes to your routine and you’ll find it’s actually quite easy to implement this practice.
I wrap today with gratitude in my heart and a genuine readiness to find a moment to rest in these coming weeks.
How are you feeling?