How to Start a Gratitude Practice

Updated: Aug 5, 2020


noun: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return the kindness.

2018 was my “Happiness Project” and I read every book I could on the topic. From psychologists to business entrepreneurs, I studied their suggestions to see what the “secret” to happiness and success was, gratitude practice was mentioned repeatedly. So, without question, I drank the Kool-Aid and started a gratitude practice. In the beginning, I did not know what I was to expect or what the benefits were, but I figured if Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Tony Robbins do it, then so should I.

Throughout the year I played with a few different practices until I found what felt right for me. I wanted something that I knew I was able to do daily, and that I would find enjoyable and not a chore. Here are my top 3 favorite practices:

1. Gratitude meditation – I like to do this one right before bed or as I wake up, but you can treat this practice like you would your regular meditation practice. Once you find a comfortable spot and have cleared your mind think of the people, the abilities you have, and the beautiful things in your life that you are grateful.

2. Gratitude List – This is a meaningful way to start or end your day with a list of things that you are thankful for. No matter how small and simple or big and complex, this is not a test with right or wrong answers.

3. Goal Journal – Believe it or not, most goal/daily planners also have a place for daily gratitude. Having the structure already built into my daily planner was nice because as I was working on my goals, I was also triggered to write about what I was grateful for.

Do you practice gratitude? Please share with us your favorite practice and the benefits that you have received.

Create an image with the prayer:

a. Bring your awareness to your environment: your smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing. Say to yourself, “For this, I am grateful".

b. Next, bring to your awareness the ones that are closest to: your family, friends, co-works and say to yourself, “For this, I am grateful".

c. Then turn the attention onto yourself; your strengths, unique ability, what you have learned from the past, your plans for the future, and say to yourself, "For this, I am grateful".

d. Turn outward and marvel in every day, no matter how big or how small and say to yourself, “For this, I am grateful".

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