Have you been meaning to start a gratitude journal, or try to practice gratitude in other ways, but you just haven’t made it a priority? Keep reading for my list of simple gratitude practices that you can start to incorporate on a daily basis, and feel the benefits of appreciating the big and little things in your life.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools to feeling peace and happiness. And it is right there for you, ready to be used, every day, all day. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of our daily lives that we forget about our ability to reframe our outlook. We often defer to old thought patterns that say “I’ll be more grateful when things get better and I feel happier.” But the truth is that it is typically the other way around: when you choose to appreciate the good things in your everyday life right now, you will begin to feel happier. It’s actually the path to getting more out of life. Let’s explore a little more about why we should put it to use.
The Power of Gratitude is pretty amazing, and is a primary path to peace and happiness! We know there are benefits for our well-being. But when you dig into the research, it’s fascinating how it can actually improve your brain functioning, even releasing dopamine (the “happiness” chemical). When you “count your blessings” and appreciate both the big and very little things, you are training your brain what to focus on. You are choosing to focus on the positive. And your brain rewards you for this with those “happiness” chemicals. The more you do this, the more your brain will seek out the positive. It has been proven in so many studies to reduce your stress levels. In one study in particular (“Counting Blessings Versus Burdens” in 2003 by Emmons and McCullough), keeping a gratitude journal was shown to have benefits that included a greater sense of well-being, improved sleep, and an improved ability to handle change!
Now that we’ve covered why we should practice gratitude, let’s chat about how to practice gratitude. Here are six simple gratitude practices that are easy ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life.
“Appreciate everything, even the ordinary. Especially the ordinary.” Pema Chodron
I love the messaging that is floating around about flipping the switch and being grateful for 2020. This is an amazing idea. The power of changing your outlook on things that are happening in our lives is so great. If you think about the challenges of 2020 with an attitude of finding the silver linings and what good has come from it, it will empower you to handle all of life so much more gracefully. This will help you train your brain to handle continued stress and change with more grace.
Gratitude. Gratefulness. Grace. It’s all within you. We just have to remember to focus on it. Your well-being will be improved when you incorporate a gratitude practice, even when they are simple gratitude practices. And your more peaceful demeanor will have ripple effects in your family and circle of influence, as well as your community.
Choose an attitude of gratitude. And you might just unlock one of the biggest keys to living a meaningful life. I think it is the biggest factors to letting your abundant beauty shine through at every age and stage of life.
If you want to read more about my personal journey with overcoming my mindset limitations in mid-life, click here to read “The Journey is The Purpose.”
I am so grateful for all of you reading this and visiting my blog! Cheers to each of you thriving in gratitude and in your abundant beauty!
I’m running my first free 5-Day Gratitude Challenge in November 2020 to help people see how easy it can be to incorporate simple gratitude practices. Let me know if you like to join this one and any future ones!
Let me know in the comments – what is your favorite way to practice gratitude?