In my last post on gratitude, I mentioned how I was struggling with my gratitude journal practice. I’ve been trying out a lot of other ways of practicing gratitude. I realized that we often stick to one way of doing things. Why choose one ‘dish’ when you can serve yourself from a buffet of gratitude practices ?
Gratitude – A Practice ?
We’re always practicing, sometimes without realizing it. Just like some of us make coffee every morning without thinking, we also have habits of being angry, scared, or blaming others. Realizing these patterns as habits of mind gives us the power to interrupt and redirect them through awareness. If we catch ourselves feeling resentful, we can change it to a more positive mindset that matches our values. We need to cultivate a sense of mindfulness to make this change happen.
Gratitude is a practice that trains our attention and makes us more aware, just like yoga or mindfulness. It reminds us what’s important, especially in hard times. Gratitude isn’t about being perfect, it’s about changing how we see things. Being grateful helps us roll with the punches and learn from what life throws our way. The more we practice, the better we become at seeing opportunities. It’s amazing how much being present can do for you.
Here is a buffet of gratitude practices for you to try:
- Start a gratitude journal. This is a simple but effective way to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Each day, write down three things you are grateful for. You can write about anything, big or small, that brings you joy or makes you feel thankful. Yes, I still believe that this works, it’s just that it got a bit stale for me.
- Send thank-you notes. This is a great way to express your gratitude to the people who make a difference in your life. Write a note to your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues, or even your mail carrier. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
- Practice mindful awareness. This is a more mindful way to practice gratitude. Throughout the day, take a few moments to notice the good things around you. Pay attention to the beauty of nature, the kindness of strangers, or the simple pleasures in your life.
- Meditate on gratitude. There are many different ways to meditate on gratitude. One simple way is to focus on your breath and to silently repeat the words “I am grateful” as you inhale and exhale.
- Do something kind for someone else. This is a great way to practice gratitude and to spread kindness in the world. Do something nice for a friend, family member, or even a stranger. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for someone or letting them go ahead of you in line.
- Spend time in nature. Nature has a way of making us feel more grateful for the simple things in life. Take some time to go for a walk in the park, hike in the woods, or just sit in your backyard and enjoy the fresh air.
- Listen to music. Music can be a powerful way to evoke feelings of gratitude. Put on your favorite songs and let the music wash over you.
- Read gratitude quotes. Gratitude quotes can be a great way to remind yourself of the importance of gratitude. Read a few quotes each day and let them inspire you to be more grateful.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are many other ways to practice gratitude. Find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine. The more you practice gratitude, the more you will appreciate the good things in your life.
Here are some additional tips for practicing gratitude:
- Be specific. When you are thinking about the things you are grateful for, be as specific as possible. This will help you to really appreciate the good things in your life.
- Be present. When you are practicing gratitude, try to be present in the moment and really savor the good feelings that come with it.
- Be consistent. The more you practice gratitude, the more it will become a part of your life. Make it a daily habit to focus on the good things in your life.
I hope you find these gratitude practices helpful. Remember, gratitude is a powerful emotion that can have a positive impact on your life. So, start practicing gratitude today and see how it can make you feel more happy, fulfilled, and connected.
So here’s a sample of from the buffet of gratitude practices I’ve been diving into – a quote, a poem, a song, an image, and yes, I even created a playlist.
Be Thankful Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire, If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don’t know something For it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations Because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge Because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes They will teach you valuable lessons. Be thankful when you’re tired and weary Because it means you’ve made a difference. It is easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
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