How to Cultivate a Gratitude Practice and Make it Part of your Lifestyle
Every day we have the opportunity to make positive and lasting changes by implementing little habits and practices that can help transform our life and mindset.
One of the biggest lessons that I learned throughout these past months is to be grateful and appreciative of everything and everyone that brings joy, positivity, and love to my life.
Sometimes, complaining and being ungrateful can seem like the easy thing to do. But it is important to realize that we are fortunate and blessed to be alive.
I have tried hard to display a kind and cheerful attitude despite the shortcomings and everyday problems that have come my way. Although I am not perfect, more often than not, I can let negative thoughts take over me and they end up ruining my day.
Late last year, I made a commitment to try and cultivate a gratitude practice and make it part of my lifestyle. I realized that despite all the suffering, grief, and affliction happening in the world, I was fortunate to have my health, my home, my family, and all my basic needs met. I was beyond blessed. And that meant everything to me.
I joined a 21 Day Gratitude Challenge, where I was given a daily prompt to journal and reflect on. This truly motivated me to dive deeper into making gratitude part of my life.
Here are some easy steps I took that helped me cultivate gratitude and make it part of my everyday routine.
1. Give Thanks Regularly.
What really steered me to a more grateful attitude was showing constant appreciation for even the smallest things. I was thankful for having a cold glass of water to drink, for showering with warm water in the cold weather, and for sleeping in a soft bed at night. This might seem silly to some of you, however in the rush of the day we sometimes take these blessings for granted. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have these little “luxuries”.
2. Write it Down.
I first started verbalizing my gratitude, but after the 21 Day Challenge, I decided to make the practice more meaningful. I love journaling, specially as a way to manage my anxiety. So, I created my own Gratitude Journal and every night, I would set some time aside to fill it. To make it easier and stay focused, I created my own set of prompts.
This daily habit has been such a gamechanger. Being able to read over my gratitude journal and see my thoughts and feelings reflected is a great way to have some accountability and also remember how fortunate and blessed I am.
3. Use Gratitude Prompts.
Sometimes, it is hard to take time to sit down and journal. There have been days where I feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, and the last thing I feel like doing is writing what I am grateful for.
In days like this, I find it useful to use gratitude prompts, which are sets of given questions that help guide your gratitude practice. I created my own Gratitude Journal with prompts, which has tremendously helped me in staying consistent with my practice.
4. Do What Works for You.
Having a consistent gratitude practice shouldn’t be torturous to you. This is an intentional habit that is meant to help you feel content, grounded and happy. So, don’t stress about it too much. If you miss a day because you were busy, or you can only manage to sit down once a week to write down your thoughts, then so be it.
Do what works for your lifestyle. What’s truly important is that you are having fun, being creative, and doing it because it fills you with joy.
5. Spread the Word.
The best thing about starting a gratitude practice is sharing your blessings with the people around you. Once you experience a mindset shift and start seeing all the great benefits of a consistent gratitude practice, you will want to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them.
One of the best feelings in the world is being able to share kindness and love with others. This can be done through simple gestures like sending a handwritten note or letter, giving someone a heartfelt compliment, being polite and treating people with respect.
I hope this motivates you to start a gratitude practice that brings happiness to your life. Remember that this is just a guideline on how to begin. As you progress through being more grateful, you will discover your own particular way of showcasing this feeling. It is all about adding positivity to your life and doing something that works for you.
Until next time.
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