If you’ve ready my other blog posts – you know why I am a #GratitudeFan. I continue to be amazed at the benefits that practicing gratitude have on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. If you’re with me so far, and you want to experiment with ways to build your gratitude practice, here are some idea starters. I’ve included a variety of modes. Some folks are writers, some are reflectors and speakers. Some are focused on building a practice with their bodies.
Gratitude journaling: Set aside a few minutes each day to write down things you are grateful for. This can include people, experiences, achievements, or simple joys in your life. Reflecting on these positive aspects helps cultivate a grateful mindset.
Gratitude jar: This is a variation on the journal. I happen to really like jars and mugs. Find a jar or container. You can decorate it, or keep it plain. Gather small pieces of paper. Whenever something positive or uplifting happens, write it down on a piece of paper and place it in the jar. Over time, the jar will fill up with reminders of the good things in your life, which can be revisited during moments of reflection and/or need. Tip: This is a great practice to do as a family! We have a gratitude jar by our dinner table. We occasionally add items, and we periodically read them together as a family.
Gratitude meditation: Practice mindfulness and focus on gratitude during meditation. Set aside dedicated time to sit quietly, bring your attention to the present moment, and reflect on the things you are grateful for. For me, this works when I anchor on a specific memory. I then expand to think of a few other items. Also, there are some great guided meditation apps out there that have a gratitude focus.
Gratitude walk: Take a walk in nature and intentionally notice the beauty around you. Pay attention to the colors, sounds, smells, and textures. Take some deep breaths. As you breath in and out, express gratitude for the natural world and the opportunity to connect with nature.
Gratitude buddy: The extrovert in me loves having a partner in most important activities. If you’re just starting to build a gratitude habit, look for a friend, family member, or a work colleague who is also interested in practicing gratitude. Start small. Find a weekly or daily time where you simply share a key gratitude moment. It does not have to be something that happened that day. It could be a memory or place or person from your past. You can text or call or find in-person time to share. Just like a running buddy helps you build a running habit, a gratitude buddy is a great way to give and receive support for building this new habit. .
No matter which way you choose to start – remember that the key to building any habit is consistency. Start small and modestly. This habit can be one that takes mere minutes a day, and some are best done weekly.
Have another way to practice and build a gratitude habit? I’d love to hear!