It’s easy to focus on the negative or challenging things, to get sucked into a negative narrative and to let it cloud how we see everything else that’s happening in our lives, to even let it lead us to believe that we’re not worthy of the good things that we do have or the amazing opportunities that we get offered.
If you’re ready to reset your mindset and change your perspective, then a gratitude practice may just be the mindful key you need to unlock more joy in your life.
3 steps to starting a gratitude practice today!
step 1: redefine what gratitude 'should' look like
One of the biggest blocks that I see people having around living more gratefully or practicing gratitude daily, is that they feel like gratitude can only be expressed or felt for the 'big' moments, events or things in their life. To be completely honest, the true power of a gratitude practice is in how it allows you to bring new awareness to the small everyday things that bring you joy, that feel good or that help you move through challenges.
The first step to living more gratefully is simply to start being mindful of all the little things that bring you joy or make your life easier - that can be as small as your first hot cup of coffee in the morning or as big as the roof over your head.
step 2: start a daily gratitude writing practice
Gratitude is a practice, that means to get really good at it, you need to, well, practise! The easiest way to build your gratitude muscle and to start becoming more aware of the little every day things that you are grateful for is journaling.
Get yourself a new notebook, or use your current journal, and leave it by your bed. Each night before you go to sleep spend a few minutes reflecting on the day and then write three things you were grateful for. Remember, these don't have to be big things, but anything that added joy, felt good or was positive in some way. The more you do this, the more you'll start to notice those little things in the moment, throughout your day - which is where the real benefit of practicing gratitude comes into play.
step 3: pass it on!
Gratitude has such a feel-GOOD energy that comes with it; once you start reflecting in your gratitude journal daily, you might notice a sudden shift in your mood and how your mind processes your day - instead of focusing on what went 'wrong', you'll start to see the abundance of small and wonderful things around you and it will feel so good.
If you want to take this to another level, then start being mindful about expressing your gratitude for others, out loud. This could be as simple as a thank you email or note to a colleague who helped you out in a small way, or making an extra effort to properly thank the person who served you your coffee. This phase of the practice can be incredibly powerful in reconnecting with our loved ones too, by acknowledging, with meaning, how grateful we are for the little everyday things they do. Start making a conscious effort to thank you partner for loading the dishwasher or walking the dog and watch as that feel-GOOD gratitude ripples out to others in your life.
Learn more about starting a gratitude practice...
If you want more tips on how to start a gratitude practice and learn about why it will help you feel GOOD, then listen to this episode of Fill Up Your Cup.