These days we hear a lot about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, and for good reason.
But there is one other spiritual practice which seems to get less recognition – and that is gratitude.
The concept of practicing gratitude is very simple and has great benefits. Anyone can do it, but just like any habit (good or bad) it takes a little commitment to practice it daily before you can reap the rewards.
What is Gratitude?
It is simply focusing on things that we are grateful for. It’s far too easy to spend our time worrying about things we don’t have, or things we want, or things that went wrong, but it takes a little more effort to replace this type of thinking pattern with a more positive one.
A daily gratitude practice involves making some time each day to focus on the things you are grateful for, and the best thing is, it can be done in a very short time, even as little as 60 seconds.
And it can be done anywhere, no fancy equipment or a special set up is needed for this! You can do it in the morning or before you go to bed at night, whatever works best for you.
Personally, I like to take a couple of minutes as i’m showering to do this. You may find yourself too busy all the time and making time for it is difficult, but you still need to shower! So why not double up and use this time for your gratitude practice.
How Does It Work?
The whole point of it is that you are focusing on the GOOD things happening in your life. By doing this you put yourself into a positive mindset, looking at your life through a positive lens, so as a result you feel feel happier and more optimistic.
The Benefits of a Daily Gratitude Practice
- You will feel happier
- It transforms your way of thinking
- You will feel less anxiety and depression
- It creates more abundance in your life
- It helps you feel content with what you have
How To Start A Gratitude Practice
How you go about it is completely up to you. It can be a short 60 second effort, or you may wish to go deeper and journal your thoughts in longer form.
Also it’s not essential, but it can help to write down the list of things that you are grateful for, either with pen and paper or into your phone.
Here are are few more ideas:
- Start your day with it to switch on a positive mindset first thing.
- End your day with it to process the positive events of the day.
- Set an alarm/reminder to prompt you.
- Go outside for a walk. When we take a walk our mind can think more freely so this can be a good time for it.
- Use your partner or a friend. Rather than asking how their day was, ask them to tell you about 1-3 things that went well for them that they are grateful for.
Remember, this doesn’t always have to be massively profound. Sometimes your gratitude can be for the simple things like “I’m grateful that today was a sunny day” or “I’m grateful for the healthy breakfast I ate” or “I’m grateful that the bus turned up on time and I got to work safely”.
Start with the simple stuff and before you know it you will be walking around feeling great and you won’t stop noticing all the positive things happening in your life.
If you have any personal gratitude practice ideas you’d like to share, please share them in the comments below.