I’ll admit practicing gratitude isn’t something that’s come easy for me. It’s only become a significant part of my life, in the past couple of years when I started to explore natural healing. I’ve been practicing gratitude daily ever since and I do think it’s one of the saving graces of my life. Cultivating a regular practice of gratitude is great for our mental and physical well-being.
When I first started to learn about the power of gratitude my mind actually couldn’t find 10 things to be grateful for. I’m embarrassed to say, but I seriously struggled! I think I was just thinking about it way too much (which I tend to do about a lot of things!!!). The more I practiced the easier it became and I went from writing 3 things to now 10 things daily! I started by being thankful for the food I ate, the roof I had over my head, the free flowing water from our taps, the freedom to go where I wanted to, the freedom to express my opinions, the freedom to read what I wanted and opportunities that brought me laughter during the day. These are just some examples to get you started! Remember nothing in this world is too small to be grateful for.
Making a list of what I’m grateful for has become a beautiful part of my daily routine and it’s a really become a sacred time in my day. I practice gratitude right before I go to bed each and every night and again in the morning when I wake. I keep a gratitude journal right by my bed side so there are no excuses and it’s just become a habit for me! It has just become a way of life for me now! I also practice gratitude at the start and end of each yoga class I teach as well as being grateful for every single client I am very lucky enough to coach.
How can you start to practice gratitude? Well firstly just start with the art of mindfulness, meaning you become totally present in the moment. Notice all the little things that surround you, things you might take for granted if you hadn’t stopped to really look. Jot them down in a journal, notepad or excel spreadsheet.
WAYS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE!
1. Keep a gratitude journal.
It will only take 5-10 minutes out of your day! Start to write down things you are grateful for and that bring you joy. They can be big or small as long as you tune into the feelings of gratitude for having them in your life in this present moment.
Stop for a moment and reflect on what you have been given in life. Are you blessed with financial security? Do you have a supportive and loving partner? Do you have loving children, a supportive family? What about a nice comfortable home? Are you in good health? Do you enjoy your work? Do you have wonderful friends? What does nature give to you? Concentrate on what you do have and not what you want or lack.
Here are some questions that might help you with practicing gratitude daily.
Who or what inspired me today?
What brought me happiness today?
What brought me comfort and deep peace today?
2. Don’t let the bad things get you down.
Focus on someone you struggle with at the moment or on a negative emotional situation currently in your life. Then look for things to be grateful for in those situations. They may not be so obvious at the time, but they are ALWAYS there and I find there is always something to be learned from these situations.
3. Write a gratitude letter.
Is there somebody who has had a deep impact on your life? Why not write them a thank you letter conveying gratitude for all the gifts you’ve received from that person. If possible, hand deliver your gratitude letter.
Often we thank people verbally; however the written word can often be even more powerful because someone has taken the time to write their appreciation.
4. Take a gratitude walk.
This is one that I love most! Get outside and take a walk in nature. As your walking, take everything in look around and name as many things as you can think of to be grateful for. Tell the universe out loud what you love about your amazing life.
Start practicing gratitude today. Put the kettle on and brew yourself your favourite herbal tea. Grab a note pad or journal and write down just one thing. Commit to adding to this journal every day. Maybe even share a meaningful exchange with a loved one, it’s something that my fiancée Dave and I like to do quite often. When you put down your pen and paper, you might just notice how much easier you can sleep that night and isn’t that yet something else for which to be grateful for.
Are you new to practicing gratitude? What do you think? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Love, Light and Lots of Happiness,
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