I firmly believe that when you practice gratitude you improve your life.
When you spend time every day noticing what you are grateful for, you begin to develop a habit of looking for something to be grateful for throughout the day. While it’s possible (perhaps even likely) that more great things will start happening in your life, what is really happening is that you are simply noticing the great things that have happened all along.
As you notice more and more to be grateful for, how you experience your life improves.
How to Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is very simple. All you have to do is make some time every day to notice what you are grateful for. This is a practice you can make all your own. You might choose to keep a gratitude journal. Another possibility is to choose to spend time thinking about what you are grateful for as you fall asleep every night. You might choose to make it a family affair and share what you are grateful for around the dinner table every night.
However you choose to practice gratitude, the key is to do it regularly. Build in time for your gratitude practice every day. Beyond making it a daily practice, how you practice gratitude should be something that is unique to you and your life. Something that feels good.
Over time, you will likely notice that your awareness of what you can be grateful for grows. You find yourself saying thank you to the crossing guard for their commitment.
My Gratitude Practice
I’ve practiced gratitude for a long time now. I am more diligent about it at some times in my life and let it fall away at others. I definitely notice a shift in the way I experience the world when I get away from it for too long!
When I practice gratitude, it’s a family affair. My daughter and I, as part of her bedtime routine, read a book based on the Indigenous Thanksgiving Prayer. Then we each spend a few moments quietly (and sometimes with giggles) writing out 10 things we are grateful for today. After we finish writing, we take turns reading our gratitudes out loud to each other.
This action of prayer, quiet reflection and voicing gratitude is a powerful combination for me. It’s a practice I hope I am instilling for a lifetime too.
Your Gratitude Practice
Do you already have a gratitude practice? If so, I’d love for you to share it with me in a comment below. It is always inspiring to see what others are doing. If you don’t yet and you’d like to get started, consider these questions to begin forming your practice:
- Will I make time for this in the morning, at night, or both?
- Do I prefer to speak my gratitudes? Write them down? Draw them?
- Is this something I want to do on my own? Will I involve others?
- How do I make this simple and enjoyable?