“The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on.”
If you don’t already know this about me, I am a BIG believer in setting intentions, manifesting what you want, and having a solid gratitude practice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the universe for what you want (just make sure you are clear in the asking because the universe does not play around), but you also need to be thankful for all the gifts you receive and have received.
About 3 years ago, I started a daily gratitude practice, and it has completely changed me…for the better. When you are mindful and grateful for all the abundance in your life, you make room for more abundance. When you are grouchy and complain all the time…I think you are telling the universe: “Hey, bring more of that crap my way!” And, helloooo… we don’t want that!
There are lots of ways you can start a gratitude practice (like everything else, just Google it!). When I’m in the car (or anywhere really), and I feel myself getting down or anxious, I will do what I call the 10 finger gratitude practice. All you do is count 10 things you are grateful for in that moment. I am always amazed at how much better I feel immediately after doing this. It’s so nice to remind ourselves of all the goodness in our lives and for just a bit, block out all the negativity surrounding us every day. At night right before I go to sleep, I think about what happened that day, and I remind myself that I am grateful for all those things, even the little tiny things. Like sunshine, sweat, a pretty cloud, dog snuggles, anything…it doesn’t have to be big, earth-shattering things in order for you to feel grateful for them.
Another way (and my favorite way) to start a gratitude practice is by using a gratitude journal. You can buy an actual gratitude journal with prompts or just use a journal you love to write your gratitude. In my morning routine post, I mentioned that I use Tim Ferriss’ 5 Minute Journal practice, so I use my own journal with lined blank pages. Here are the questions Tim poses in his journaling practice:
– What you’re grateful for (I try to write 10 things every day)
– What would make today great (I love this for setting intentions for the day)
– Daily Affirmation (I use “I am:” then write 8 to 10 words of affirmation to myself)
– 3 Amazing Things that happened today
– How could you make today even better
Personally, I actually only use the top 3 questions, then I add one of my own: “how will I center myself today.” I added this question because “centered” is my 2019 word of the year. Not only does this practice prepare me for a great day, but it’s a great historical and written record of what was going on with me each day and what happened in my every day life. I can look back over the last couple of years and read my entries and get a great feel for what my life was up to then. I also use this practice to set intentions for myself and my business. I am not afraid to ask the universe to send me clients, money, answers, or even something as simple as a call from a good friend.
It’s also important to get really specific with your gratitude practice. For instance, don’t just say you’re grateful for your spouse everyday…get specific about what they did for you that day that made you grateful. Recognizing these small moments will make you appreciate the moment (and the person) even more.