Like many of us, I’ve had my own daily practice of journaling about what I am grateful for for many years and I’ve experienced first hand the delightful benefits of taking the time to do this every day.
Life can be so challenging at times. “Thank you” not only has the power to move us through these challenges with grace, but can also boast our creative flow and self esteem, improve our emotional and mental well-being, strengthen our relationships, and enhance our overall life satisfaction. Plus it feels so good to be filled with thankfulness.
I’ve noticed when I actively generate gratitude or spontaneously experience it, the experience of lack or feeling lost or inadequate disappears and a sense of connection, contentment and joy washes over me and lingers throughout the rest of my day.
Cultivating gratitude is therefore a habit I personally want to continue exploring and implementing and would highly recommend. That’s why I dedicated time today to share my personal favorite ‘Gratitude Practices’ with you. Feel free to use any or all of them if you wish!
Making Gratitude A Way Of Life
With Thanksgiving around the corner here in the US giving thanks at meal times and for food springs to mind, so we’ll start there.
Gratitude for food
Getting into the habit of pausing to reflect on the journey of the food from its starting point to your plate and expressing gratitude for the food and for all the hands that have made this meal possible before you eat can nourish you on a whole new level.
Gratitude around meal times
Whether eating alone or with friends and family, take a moment to connect with something your grateful for and share it out loud. Allow others to share too if they’d like. This can create space for a deeper connection with life itself as well as with others.
Present moment gratitude
Set an alarm to go off every hour and take a moment find something you’re grateful for in the present moment. Maybe the seat your sitting on. The clothes your wearing. The pen in hand… Allow the feeling of gratitude to fill you.
Go on a walk with the intention to seek out things you’re grateful for. Often while on a walk we tend to be in our heads focusing on the past or the future or our ideas and projects. This practice also grounds us back into our body and into our present moment experience.
Upon awakening put your hand on your heart and inwardly say “Thank you for this new day, thank you for this body”.
You could also make journaling about things you’re grateful for part of your morning routine. If you like you can download my FREE journaling prompts practice. It’s a daily journaling exercise to help nourish, body, mind and soul, that includes a reflection on gratitude and much more. Learn more here.
Thank You Meditation
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes. As you breath in, inwardly say “thank you”, as you breath out, again say thank you. Repeat until the alarm goes off. Anytime your mind drifts, bring it back to “thank you” and the breath.
Alternatively you could simply meditate on things your grateful for, bring them to mind as you breath in and out.
Express thanks to others by sending little notes or texts letting them know you appreciate them.
You could also gather gratitude notes in a basket, a jar, a box, an envelope or on a doc on your computer. At the end of the year/month/week, read and reflect on these lovely moments.
So there you have it, my simple, but highly effective ‘Gratitude Practices’.
Perhaps like me, you have at times practiced most or all of the above suggestions at certain times. My personal desire is to embody these in a deeper way by integrating them more fulling into my daily life, so I can make gratitude a way of life. You’re welcome to join me!
Is there a practice that stands out that you’d like to try or do more often?
Do you have any others I haven’t mentioned that you can share with me?
Thank you for reading my blog!
I wish you many moments filled with thankfulness.