What is a “Gratitude Practice”, you ask?
Well, similar to a Yoga or Meditation Practice, a Gratitude Practice is one in which you exercise your gratitude muscles daily for the purpose of cultivating gratitude throughout all areas of your life, as often as possible.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one of the most effective ways to shift your paradigm, your expectations, and your approach to life. For that reason, you’ll never find a book or program on spirituality that doesn’t emphasize the importance of gratitude.
Having a daily Gratitude Practice literally rewires your brain: over time, you naturally start to notice more things to be grateful for than not.
This is particularly important due to our natural tendency towards a “negativity bias”; that is, as humans, our primal brains require about five positive thoughts for every negative thought in order to feel balanced. Crazy, huh?! But it makes sense, survival instinct and all. I’m not the expert in this particular field, but suffice it to say, A GRATITUDE PRACTICE IS IMPORTANT!
How to Start
It’s very easy to start a Gratitude Practice, but it does take a little more effort than simply mentally checking off a humdrum list.
To start a Gratitude Practice, all you need to do is write down at least three (3) things you are grateful for. They can be anything at all. Try to be specific as possible.
Ideally, you would do this every day. Try incorporating it into your current routine – for example, if you journal every day, begin or end your journaling session by listing three things that you’re grateful for. If you look over your calendar or day timer daily, write it in there.
You could, of course, to make a ritual out of it by lighting a candle, bringing yourself into a meditative state of mind, and writing in a special notebook, etc. How lovely! Warning: This option is best suited to those who DON’T get stuck in analysis paralysis or negative perfectionism!
Just do it, whichever way is easiest.
If you’ve never done anything like this, it’s going to feel weird. But don’t worry – there’s absolutely no way that you can do this wrong.
Nobody will ever see this list, and you are not going to put it up on social media with a hashtag. This is a list that you are PURPOSELY going to KEEP TO YOURSELF. That’s part of the magic.
There is only one rule: You have to write it down. Thinking about it or saying it out loud is great, but doesn’t cut it.
You’ve got lots of options:
Good ‘ol pen and paper
You can delegate a small notepad for this, or, if you already have a proper diary, you can do it in your diary. You can also write it in your agenda or planner, if you are the only one who reads it.
Create a new note. You can have a new note for every day, or you can create one long note. This one might be the easiest and best option, as you always have your phone on you.
Same as above. Use the notes software/app that you have.
Create a Pages/Word or text document.
Write them in a LOCKED journal, like Penzu,
Just write it down. (Did I say that yet?!)
Get into the habit of being grateful. Any time of the day works, just DO IT. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it; you won’t need to make up for it by doubling up on your list.
This practice alone will revolutionize your life forever. Imagine: Naturally gravitating towards thoughts that bring you into a space of gratitude, and seeing more things that make you happy.
What’s one thing I’m grateful for? Well, get ready, cuz I’m about to get mushy: You. You, you, you, you, YOU, dear reader.
Thank you for you,