I started February writing out 3 gratitudes, or better phrased by Amber Lee Lyons of Chakra Girl co., "3 ways you are wildly abundant". So I started writing out 3 things to be grateful for at the end of the day. Overall they were things I did in my day that made it just that much better.
Quickly, I realized that I had to pay attention to the way moments made me feel and stop going through the motions of my day today. While none of the moments I wrote down were huge, they were meaningful. From having lunch with a friend to having a sorted out planner, I found that being mindful of my day and expressing gratitude for the moments in my day that filled my heart kept me present.
Why having a gratitude practice is important
As I took the time to write out my gratitude, I found through my practice that gratitude can help us be more mindful throughout the day. It calls for really paying attention to moments that stick out to you the most.
Gratitude can also help break a negative train of thought. Reviewing your gratitude list can shift your mood significantly. I often found that just skimming through my gratitude list put me in a happier state of mind.
Implementing A Gratitude Practice
Committing to a new practice can be challenging at first, especially if you are not sure where in your day it will fit. Expressing gratitude does not have to be a massive or stress-inducing undertaking.
It can be as simple as making a note on your phone, jotting them down on a post-it, or using a guided journal. Find a tool or system that works best with your lifestyle or try habit stacking to make expressing gratitude a regular part of your day.
This challenge only lasted a month, but I am continuing this practice through the rest of the year. It's supported my goal to be more present throughout the day and provided the opportunity to find joy. Even when it seems like there is nothing special in my day.
Simple gratitude practice over coffee
No matter how simple adding a new habit can be, new habits can get left behind and forgotten. However, our morning cup of coffee doesn’t. If that’s the case, why not add a gratitude practice to your coffee routine.
We already dedicate at least 5 minutes to getting our coffee for the day. So instead of spending 5 minutes adding stress by thinking through to-do lists and daily schedules, why not spend time thinking about what you’re grateful for?
It can be as simple as making a mental list of what you’re grateful for while making your coffee. Even if you start out with the fact that you are having coffee this morning to wake up, it’s a great start.
Finding ways to express gratitude are endless and come at no cost to include into your day-to-day. I’m sure you’ll find that expressing gratitude can have an incredible impact on your day.
Jocelyn is a writer and creative currently living in Southern California. On her blog, she writes about navigating the landscape of holistic wellness from the perspective of a graduate who did not end up working in their ideal career field. It’s all about the pivot and the opportunity to learn and grow while working towards your goals living life to the fullest and allowing herself to be directed by the forces that be, even if that is not what was planned. She believes in and encourages authenticity, travel, kindness, and giving back. She is currently working on her first book.