Before we jump into today’s topic, I should probably discuss my 36-day gratitude photo challenge. I didn’t get up to day 36, yes this is true. But I got pretty close! And while I haven’t been posting about gratitude, I’ve been practicing it every single day. And I continue to be amazed by how gratitude is bringing so much clarity and positivity into my life. It’s been a game-changer!
Here are 5 ways you can include gratitude into each day!
1. Start With Gratitude
First thing when you wake up in the morning, before your feet hit the floor, list 5 things you are grateful for. If there is something your particularly worried about that day – whether it’s work-related or personal -look at the situation and see what part of it you can be grateful for. It’s amazing how often the situation turns out so much better than you expected because you chose to focus on the positive aspects of the problem. For example: Let’s say you’re meeting a difficult client that day. Don’t focus on the challenging aspects of your relationship, but rather be grateful for the positive aspects.
2. Open Your Eyes
Gratitude shouldn’t just happen when you’re sitting down and being deliberate about it. Once you start practicing gratitude daily, you will actually find yourself stopping in your tracks to be grateful. This often happens to me on my way to work. It’s the time of day when the sun is rising on the horizon and it’s absolutely breathtaking some days. I will actually stop my car and stare at the beauty of the sunrise and express my gratitude for it.
3. Grateful For People
How often do we cruise through our day without really thanking people for the little things they do to make our day brighter? And I’m not just talking about saying thanks to the man who opened the door for you at the office. Was there a gas attendant who was extra cheerful? Or did your barista put a happy face on your macchiato that made your day? Keep your eyes peeled for the people that are going above and beyond to make your day a bit more special and give them a big THANKS!
4. Share The Practice With Others
I was giving my 3 year-old son a bath today and I asked him what made him happy (the word gratitude is a bit beyond his vocabulary at this point). He said Holly (our dog), mommy, daddy, Zoe (his sister) and Taylor (his friend). I then went through the list of things I was grateful for and, of course, I made sure he was on the top of the list. By sharing our gratitude with others, no matter what their age, we share our heart which allows us to connect more deeply with others. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all need?
5. Before I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Before I fall asleep at night, I go over a list of 3 – 5 things I’m grateful for that day. It fills my head with beautiful thoughts before I fall asleep. I also feel like it helps attract more positivity while my subconscious is hard at work during the night.
Try some of these tips in the next few days and see how they transform your day. I can’t believe the way my life has opened up since I started practicing gratitude. The one thing I notice the most is that I am so mindful since starting this journey. I see the beauty and the gift in everything. Some days it’s almost emotionally overwhelming.
How do you practice gratitude and how often? Has your gratitude practice changed your life? I’d love to hear your stories. My hope is to one day write a book about gratitude’s transformational power on every day people like you and me.