How to Practice Gratitude
A commonly used gratitude exercise that I often use with clients and for myself is to keep a Gratitude Journal in which you write down 5 things you are grateful for each morning. Today, I am grateful for homemade chicken soup, 80 degree weather, running into a family friend at a coffee shop, my hour long lunch break and my significant other.
What are you grateful for today?
The practice of meditating on the things that you are grateful for in your life forces us to account for the good in our everyday lives. Without this practice, we easily take for granted the small things that really amount to the stuff that really makes life easier, from a sunny day after a long, cold winter, to a compliment from a stranger to having good health.
Kickstart your morning with an attitude of gratitude
Making a habit of starting a gratitude practice in the morning helps kickstart the day on a positive note particularly in times where daily negative news cycles flood our newsfeeds and timelines. Instead of wishing away the dreaded Monday blues, one can be grateful for having a job to go to, even if you don’t like your job. It is important to note how a ripple effect can happen with gratitude exercises. As in the case of someone who dislikes their job, but is grateful to have a job, this same person can begin to start thinking about how they can enjoy Mondays or find a new line of work.
Feel less stressed and more focused throughout your day
Gratitude exercises can have many of the same benefits as meditation, such as decreased stress, better mood, improved focus and creativity. The effect of writing, particularly freewriting is a stress reliever and a creative outlet. The key in reaping the benefits of gratitude exercises is time and consistency. Making it a part of a regular routine will help integrate it as a part of an essential self-care practice that will combat emotional distress and improve your well-being.