Having a gratitude practice is one of the easiest ways to shift your attitude from feeling down and out to knowing that everything is going to be okay. It’s also been proven to improve psychological health, enhance empathy and raise your self esteem.
And if those benefits aren’t enough to convince you it’s worth doing, there’s the added bonus of its fast-acting results — meaning that as soon as you sink into gratitude mode, you immediately feel different. It’s an automatic mood boost! It’s also accessible at all times so you can engage in your practice whenever you want.
There are a few ways you can practice gratitude. You could wake up each morning, and think about the things in your life that make you happy. Maybe you think about your dog, or your good health. Perhaps it’s the simple fact that you’ve got two legs to get out of bed that you feel grateful for.
You could also take it a step further and write down 10 things that happened that you felt grateful for during the day. Some people like to invest in a special journal and keep their gratitude bundled together. If you’re writing in the same book at the same time every day, you may create a ritual around your practice, which is definitely a way to keep it going strong.
I like to integrate my gratitude practice into everything I do, which makes it more fluid, and an active part of my life. If I’m with my daughter who suddenly gives me a hug, I’ll acknowledge my gratitude at that very moment. I try to do this with every little thing that shows up in my life that could be gratitude worthy.
If you’re looking to shake up your practice with another technique that will give better results, try approaching your gratitude with more clarity. Without having much clarity around your gratitude, you may think something like, “I’m so grateful for my husband, who I love very much.”
But to tweak the practice for better results, you would be more specific. So you think (or even say!) something like, “I’m so grateful for my husband who wakes up early on Sundays and makes the best spinach and cheese omelet that I’ve ever had.”
Similar to goal setting, or creating a vision of where you want to get specific with what you seek, the same thing goes with your gratitude practice. So rather than just applying the general idea of what you’re grateful for, you would get as clear as possible. When you become more specific like this, it is easier to conjure up feelings of appreciation and well being, which are the foundation for this practice and the key to transforming your attitude.
The next time you do your gratitude practice, rather than make a general blanket statement of what you’re grateful for, go deeper into the details and acknowledge the entire scope of your appreciation.
What are you grateful for today? —Elysha