How To Start Practicing Gratitude

Do you ever just start your day on a bad note and feel the negative energy following you for the rest of your day? Despite your efforts to snap out of it and feel gratitude, you find it incredibly difficult to escape the bad funk. Before you know it, each day starts to feel like a repeat of the last.

You always feel tired and anxious, and you barely get any sleep. It can also come to a point wherein small things that never used to bother you now trigger intense frustration. You might find yourself becoming irritable and distant, even with those you care about, and the people around you might find it hard to approach you because you might be giving off a different vibe.

It’s like you’re stuck in a cycle of stress and exhaustion, and no matter how much you try, breaking free seems out of reach. Your motivation slowly decreases, and tasks that seem manageable now feel overwhelming. The weight of it presses down, making each day a struggle to get through especially when positive energy is missing from your life. Fortunately, you can turn your life around by incorporating small yet very impactful changes into your daily routine.

 

 

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Putting Gratitude Into Practice

Sometimes, a shift in perspective, like practicing gratitude, can make a world of difference. Taking a moment each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for, no matter how small, can help shift your focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right. It’s incredible how a simple act of acknowledging the good things in your life can gradually break the cycle of negativity and bring a sense of calm and clarity.

Believe it or not, adding the practice of gratitude to your life is very transformative and it won’t need a lot of your time and effort. By simply doing these small gestures, you can change how you view the world, and in return, how it perceives you.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to start incorporating gratitude into your life:

 

Start a gratitude journal

The most common and popular way of practicing gratitude is by having a gratitude journal. You can easily add this into your daily planning routine, alongside your tasks for the day. It is important that you set aside a few minutes of your day, either morning or before bed, to write down three things you’re grateful for. It doesn’t matter if these are big or small, as long as you’re sincere and specific.

For example, instead of just writing “I’m grateful for my friend” you may write “I’m grateful for my friend who volunteered to drive me to work today.” It might seem like a minimal adjustment, but the specificity helps deepen your appreciation, which makes the practice more meaningful.

With consistent practice, you might notice patterns in what brings you joy and contentment, which can help you focus more on these aspects of your life. If you’re feeling particularly down, looking back through past entries can remind you of the positive aspects and supportive people in your life, providing a boost to your mood and perspective.

 

Express gratitude to others

showing gratitudeAside from documenting these for yourself, expressing gratitude to others can also help boost your practice. Sometimes, we often forget to be grateful to the people around us as we’re already expecting them to act a certain way. However, taking the time to acknowledge and thank others can strengthen your relationship and create a more positive environment.

You may start by verbally expressing your gratitude by saying “Thank you!” or ‘I appreciate your help.” Make it a habit to always be intentional when saying these phrases. There’s always that tendency to blurt it out as part of the routine, but sincerity can go a long way.

Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of others not only fosters positive relationships but also encourages a culture of appreciation and respect. Whether it’s a small favor or significant assistance, genuine gratitude can make a meaningful impact on both the giver and the receiver.

 

Be mindful

Being mindful is important in practicing gratitude because this allows you to have the space for reflection. When your mind is always crowded and preoccupied, it becomes challenging to appreciate the things in your life. To combat this, make it a habit to pause and reflect throughout the day. Take a moment to focus on something you’re grateful for, allowing yourself to truly appreciate and acknowledge it.

For instance, while enjoying your morning coffee, take a moment to savor the taste and warmth, and feel grateful for this small pleasure. During your commute, instead of letting your mind wander, think about the convenience of transportation and how it allows you to connect with opportunities and loved ones.

At the end of the day, reflect on the positive interactions you had, whether it’s a kind word from a colleague, a smile from a stranger, or a moment of laughter with a friend. Though these may seem plain, these mindful pauses can cultivate a sense of gratitude that can help you become a better version of yourself.

 

Focus on the positive

A big part of the gratitude practice is re-framing your mindset and focusing on the positive. Challenges will always be there, but it’s up to you how you’re going to let these hurdles affect you. The kind of mindset you bring in situations like this determines the impact it will have on your life.

Embracing gratitude helps you see the good even in difficult times, allowing you to navigate life with a more optimistic and resilient outlook. When you actively practice gratitude, you train your brain to recognize and appreciate the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small. This shift in focus can transform your overall perspective, making you more aware of the abundance that surrounds you.

Instead of dwelling on what’s lacking or going wrong, gratitude encourages you to celebrate your achievements, cherish your relationships, and acknowledge the beauty in everyday moments.

 

Stay patient and consistent

practicing gratitudeAs they always say, good things take time. Even with dedicated practice, it may take a while before beginning to see the positive changes in your life. This isn’t a sign of failure; rather, it’s part of the journey of retracing your steps and steadily making improvements one step at a time. Each effort contributes to your growth and development. It’s very crucial to trust the process and not be disheartened by the slow progress.

In the study of Brown and Wong (2017), they mention how gratitude’s benefits don’t appear instantly. The study found that while there were no initial differences in mental health levels among the groups one week after the writing activities ended, participants in the gratitude group reported superior mental health compared to the other groups four weeks later. This gap in mental health further widened 12 weeks post-writing activities.

“It’s important to note that the mental health benefits of gratitude writing in our study did not emerge immediately, but gradually accrued over time.” (Brown and Wong, 2017)

Remember, persistence and patience are key elements of personal growth and achievement. I personally love listening to gratitude affirmation meditations while I’m doing the dishes and other chores and so on. By staying committed to the practice, you reinforce positive habits and build momentum towards your goals.

 

 

About Author:

Paul Jenkin | Empowerment Coach & Somatic Facilitator
With over 25 years of experience in personal development and alternative healing, Paul coaches soulpreneurs to let go of limiting programming and to empower themselves to reach greater levels of freedom, inner-peace, joy and success.

He shares his insights on a whole range of topics such as manifestation, emotional intelligence and healing, optimal health, self-sovereignty and business success.

Creator of ‘Powerful Manifestation Secrets‘ – Simple ways to attain your desires with the Law of Attraction.

 

 

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