Gratitude is a buzzword lately. We talk about being grateful, but we’re in need of more tips and techniques. Let’s get really real, it’s hard to integrate gratitude into our lives, especially when we’re in a shitty mood.
I didn’t build a solid gratitude practice until the end of 2017. I thought saying “thank you” was enough. However, I’ve learned that gratitude is shown through action, behavior, and lifestyle. In today’s post, let’s chat about some ways that we can practice gratitude in our daily lives.
Take inventory of your surroundings and show appreciation to them. You may walk on the same street or drive the same route. How often do you slow down to notice what’s going on around you? What may you notice differently? How different would your surroundings look if you took note of them?
Kicking off my gratitude practice was easiest when I took inventory of my usual surroundings. I asked myself what was around me that I didn’t think of often. I began to notice the beauty of waking up on top of a comfortable bed. I took inventory of how fortunate I am to have a house to wake up in. Lastly, I was reminded of how beautiful my morning walk was to the bus stop.
Starting off taking inventory of my surroundings helped me build upon my gratitude practice. Now, I take the time to thank my bed by making it in the morning and say a gentle goodbye to my house before I leave for the day. I take the time to look down my street before recording my morning walks on Instagram.
When we notice what we have around us, we can then build a gratitude practice to honor them. The best part of building a gratitude practice is that it will be uniquely yours. Maybe it’s taking an extra moment to clean the kitchen counter or dust off the bookshelf. Whatever it is, it’s helpful to take inventory of what you’re extra grateful for, then move forward with practice from there.
Pay attention to the people who you are grateful for and show them. Who are the people around you that you usually say “thank you” to? Is it a friend, spouse, or family member? Thanking them is one thing, but expressing gratitude for them is another.
In starting my gratitude practice, I realized that there were people I would say “thank you” to but I didn’t actually show them gratitude. If I could practice gratitude with objects and surroundings, why not the people in my life? My mother was the first person I practiced with. I started to volunteer to make her favorite meals, like my pancakes in the morning and my baked salmon for dinner. Our relationship grows stronger every time I share my time in cooking her a dish.
After I saw the success in practicing gratitude with my mother, I practiced with other family members, friendships, and work relationships. It’s important to note that I express gratitude in the ways I know the person would enjoy it. For instance, I share informational podcasts with my photographer since I know she loves a great listen on her lengthy commutes. I invite a yoga teacher to teach at events I host or hear about because I know that’s what she loves. These are just a few examples, but it shows how much we can show people our gratitude.
We can all use more gratitude practice with our relationships. Picking one person at a time and building from there is helpful. When we see the fruit it has in our relationship, we’ll realize it’s worth the extra effort. We’ll be proud of ourselves and the stronger quality of our relationships.
Commit to a gratitude journaling routine. You may know this already, but there’s power in writing things down. There’s even more power when you write down what you’re grateful for. You will start noticing how much is in your life to be proud of.
Writing in my gratitude journal daily was hard at first. It wasn’t an easy routine and was difficult to stay on track with. I tried many different ways of writing down my gratitude list. From an app on my phone to a notebook in my backpack, nothing stuck. It finally stuck when I placed my gratitude journal on my nightstand. Now every time I wake up, I grab my journal, sit in my chair, and write at least seven things I’m grateful for.
It’s amazing what comes up to be grateful for. I’ll write people, places, and things. I’ll think about the day before or the day to come. It puts in perspective that I have a life I can be so happy and proud of. It also sets a wonderful tone for the day ahead of me.
We all have ways we can write down what we’re grateful for. A gratitude journal is one of the tried and true ways. What are some ways you can bring gratitude journaling into your routine? How would you realistically be able to write in a journal daily? What time of day is that? How soon can you commit?
Be kind with yourself and be realistic with your time. Last but not least, I believe I built a gratitude practice by being kind with myself and being realistic with my schedule. What can you fit into your day and week to express gratitude? When can you commit to gratitude journaling? Who are the people you can express gratitude to? Building your own gratitude practice won’t be easy and it will take time. But these are the questions that are so necessary to ask to get there.
Psst.. if you’re looking for more support in your gratitude practice, I’m open to taking five free discovery calls revolving around gratitude! I’d love to support you as I’m now kicking off my coaching practice. I get many women meeting with me who feel stuck either in their business or personal life. This is my way of showing gratitude to you for reading today’s post. Click right here to book your first free call with me. I’d love to chat with you, girl!