November is Gratitude Month, so I wanted to start this month off by saying I am grateful to you for sharing a step or two on the journey, and for taking the time to read this post.
It seems that gratitude is something we should be practicing every single day, and yet, because it’s so deceptively simple, it’s something that I think we don’t do often enough. I know for myself, until I made writing in a gratitude journal my first writing priority of the day I didn’t pay enough attention to it either.
What I’ve found since then is that starting the day in gratitude really does set the tone for the rest of the day. It makes me happier, more peaceful, and more mindful because I’m always looking for things to be grateful for!
If you’re a beginner at creating a daily gratitude practice, here are a few ideas to get you noticing things to be grateful for.
1. Start your morning with a gratitude meditation
Simply sit quietly for five minutes when you first wake up and think about all the things you are grateful for.
I fell into this habit from starting my morning with something totally unrelated. As you may or may not know, I live with a few health challenges and one of them is high blood pressure. I’m supposed to keep it under a certain number at all times, and so one of the first things I do in the morning is check my blood pressure.
The instructions that come with the monitor state that you’re supposed to sit quietly and relax for five minutes before you do the test, so I decided to use that five minutes to think about what I am grateful for starting with waking up to face another day.
2. Use a gratitude journal
Your gratitude journal can be as plain or as fancy as you like. Mine is a spiral bound notebook that sits on my desk, along with my blood pressure log and to do list notebook. The only fancy thing about it is the different colored markers I use to write the date.
So the minute I’m done taking my blood pressure, I sit down at my desk and record those numbers, and then write in my gratitude journal.
There’s no right or wrong way to write your journal entries. Some people write a list of things they are grateful for. Others combine them with an affirmation. You can write things you’re grateful for that you already have, or things you would be grateful to have in the future.
I read a quote on Facebook the other day that said something about being grateful for things you haven’t received yet is a powerful way to manifest them. I can’t remember the actual quote and I forgot to like it, so I couldn’t even find it again.
For myself, I do a combination of all of the above. But no matter what falls in between that I’m grateful for in that moment, I always start with “I AM Grateful for this incredible day”. And I always end with “I AM grateful for all the new opportunities that come my way.”
3. Be open about your gratitude
What do I mean by this? It’s easy to acknowledge gratitude to yourself through meditation and journaling, but why not share it with others. If you are grateful for something someone else has done for you, let them know!
“Thank you” is easy enough to say, and it may just make someone else’s day to know that you appreciate their actions. As a service provider myself, I can tell you that nothing beats a heartfelt thank you when a client likes what I’ve done for them.
Regardless of how you practice gratitude, the important thing is to remember to do it. The more you are open and generous with your gratitude the easier it is to keep a positive mindset. It’s really hard to let negative thoughts take hold when you’re consciously always looking for things to be thankful for. And that, in itself is something to be grateful for.