You know about practicing gratitude, but what does it actually do? Here are the health benefits of a daily gratitude practice and how to start one today!
The think the term “mindfulness” has gotten a little confusing over the last few years as it's gotten more and more popular. We're told we need more mindfulness in our lives, but what does that actually mean? Is there a certain right way to do it?
I believe the answer is no. There is no right way to be mindful because we're all different and we all need different things.
So today we're not going to talk about meditation or deep breathing (check out our post on how to start meditating), but instead, we're going to focus on the concept of practicing gratitude. And I'm going to share how you can create your own daily gratitude practice at home.
What is a Daily Gratitude Practice?
First things first, let's break this down and talk specifically about what gratitude is and why it can be so beneficial for your mind.
A daily gratitude practice is simply a practice that you use every single day by focusing on things you are grateful for. The beauty of this practice is that can look completely different from one person to the next. It doesn't have to be fancy or take you 15 minutes every day.
It can be as simple as a 60-second thing you do in the morning. Or something you do before bed each night. Or maybe you pull your partner into the mix and you each share something that you're grateful for.
But the bottom line is that gratitude is simple; it's focusing on the things in your life that you are grateful for or feel blessed to have.
Does Gratitude Really Work?
That's a good question. I'd say that gratitude works as long as you are consistent and you want it to work.
It's not going to be a magic pill that you do once and suddenly your life has changed. But with practice and consistency, what gratitude can do is create more happiness in your life.
Think of it this way: the point of this practice is that you are focusing on the GOOD things that are happening in your life. By focusing on the good, you're putting yourself in a positive mindset, you're looking at your life through a positive lens and as a result, you become happier and more positive.
Benefits of a daily gratitude practice:
- transforms your way of thinking
- brings you more happiness
- reduces anxiety and depression
- can create more abundance in your life
- helps you be happy with what you have
Along with many other incredible things! This practice can have the power to make you a happier and healthier person if actually commit to practicing it.
How to Start a Gratitude List
Now that we know what gratitude is, why gratitude is beneficial and how it can transform your way of thinking, let's get down to the implementation. How do you even get this practice started?
As I mentioned, I think it can be as easy as 30-seconds out of your day. Or it can be as fancy as spending 20 minutes journaling. There's no right or wrong way to do it.
Here are a few ideas for how to make a gratitude list:
- Before or after bed: keep a notebook beside your bed and write down three things you're grateful for either right when you wake up or right before you go to sleep at night
- Start a note in your phone: and write something down one or two times per day.
- Set an alarm/reminder: create an alert in your calendar that prompts you to think about what you're grateful for.
- Go outside: there's nothing better than going for a walk and thinking about what you're grateful for.
- Use your partner/roommate: rather than just asking your partner/roommate how their day was, ask them to tell you about 1 – 3 things that went really well for them. Then have them do the same.
- Use a positivity journal: If you like structure, use something like the 5-minute journal to help with the daily prompts.
And remember, this doesn't have to be super profound. It can be as simple as, “I'm grateful the sun is shining today.” Or “I'm grateful I hear birds chirping outside my window.” Or even, “I'm grateful for my healthy breakfast.”
Don't let it be intimidating. Start with the simple stuff and before you know it, you'll be feeling incredible and you'll be walking around noticing all the good things that are already in your life.
How do You Practice Gratitude?
I'd love to know if you have a daily gratitude practice. If so, let us know what method you follow and any benefits you've felt since adding this practice into your life!