Gratitude, [grat-i-tood, -tyood] noun. The quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Practicing gratitude is beneficial in many ways. It’s been known to help improve physical and psychological health, improve sleep and boost self-esteem. It may even enhance social relationships and reduce anger. Gratitude is a practice. It’s something you must choose to do over and over to intentionally make it a part of your lifestyle. Practicing gratitude seems simple, but sometimes we forget where to start. Here are seven easy ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily ritual.
Make a list
Keep a running list filled with anything that brings you joy – big or small. Write down a handful of thoughts each day or build it over time. Get creative: make a gratitude jar. Design it to your liking and fill it with notes of gratitude each day. At the end of each month take some time to read over everything that brought you joy that month
Recite your joy
Instead of (or in addition to) writing your gratitude list, speak your joy out loud, so you can feel them on the tip of your tongue. Envision them releasing from your body and as you release them, sit in silence and be mindful of the thoughts and feelings you have surrounding each one.
Keep a journal
Communicate your thoughts on paper to better process your feelings around them. Perhaps start by taking one item from your gratitude list and expand on it – ask yourself why you’re grateful for it, what memories come to mind. Make this part of your daily or weekly ritual to help focus on something positive you’re grateful for and watch the appreciation expand even further.
Write a letter
Take out a piece of paper and pen and write a note of appreciation to someone who’s impacted you in a positive way, listing the reasons and qualities around why you’re grateful for them. In the age of text messages and emails, there’s something special about a handwritten note.
Share your gratitude
Use your platform to share the good. Whether in your stories or in the DMs of a new person each day, share the things you are grateful for. Create a hashtag and get others to hop on board and share their own!
Seek joy amidst challenges
Many of us are facing some sort of darkness or another. While practicing gratitude during a rough season doesn’t make the struggle stop, it does mean you are actively choosing joy in the midst of sadness. It means you have power over your thoughts.
Get into nature
Being outside, surrounded by nature helps create space for mindfulness. Escaping from screens, work, and other day-to-day monotony provides room to ponder more meaningful things. Take the time to unplug and exist. Breathe in the outside air as you count your joys in gratitude.