Did you know that having a gratitude practice is not just a trendy new thing, but it can truly change your life?
It’s true. Gratitude has so many benefits, that it’s hard to keep track. Basically it’s a full on mind-body-soul medicine. It certainly transformed my life.
Gratitude didn’t come easy to me. Perhaps it was my dysfunctional family or our non-religious household growing up, but gratitude was not something anyone practiced around me. I was in my twenties when I first heard about the benefits of a gratitude practice. I rolled my eyes at first, then got curious.
As I began my gratitude journey, it wasn’t easy. It felt strange and even fake at first. Keeping up with a routine was difficult too. Eventually I got the hang of it. I began to truly feel gratitude. I felt happier and more alive. Today, I can’t even imagine life without being grateful and having a gratitude practice.
Benefits of Gratitude
- Gratitude can improve your mood and overall mental health
- Gratitude can improve your physical well-being
- Gratitude can lower stress
- Gratitude can increase happiness and life-satisfaction
- Gratitude can improve your sleep
- Gratitude can improve your relationships
How to Develop a Gratitude Practice?
The most common form of a gratitude practice, you’ve might’ve heard about, is keeping a journal. There are different ways to do it. You may journal once, twice or even more times a day. Morning and/or evening is the most common, but there is no reason not to pick 2 pm instead if that works better for you.
Some people jot down three things day are grateful for. Others list as many as they possibly can. Some go into details and write full stories. Other keep it to one word or a phrase. It is up to you.
Either way, gratitude journaling obviously involves journaling. Journaling is not for everyone. Perhaps you have many other journals – morning journal, idea journal, etc – that you don’t want to add another one. Perhaps you don’t like writing. Perhaps you love your gratitude journal, but looking for new ways to practice gratitude as well.
The good news is that having a gratitude practice is not limited to journaling. There are many other creative ways to for you to express it, say for example, recording, and most importantly experience your gratitude. Try there 9 creative gratitude techniques.
9 Ways to Keep a Gratitude Practice without Journaling
Start Your Day with Gratitude
Begin your day with a grateful mindset as soon as you wake up. Silently express your gratitude. Start with the bigger picture, such as being grateful for the planet you live in and the air you breathe. Move onto the obvious personal things, such as your family, friends, pets, jobs, hobbies, and home. Next, think about some specific things, such as the soft pillow you are laying on, the sweet dreams you had, or your morning coffee you are about to have.
Create a Visual Gratitude Journal
Your gratitude journal doesn’t have to be written work and doesn’t have to be in a journal either. You can snap photos or make videos. You may post it on social media or even try a 100 day gratitude challenge. You can also keep it to yourself. If you enjoy other forms of art, you can draw, paint, or even doodle your gratitude.
Make a Gratitude Calendar
Having a designated wall calendar for this purpose is the best idea. If you prefer, you can use a desk calendar, your agenda or even a calendar on your phone. Every day write down three new things you are grateful for. You don’t have to write a long story. A few words or a short phrase is plenty. It is important to come up with there new and specific things each day of each month. You can’t say “family, friends, health” every day. Eventually you have to dig deep to find real gems.
Get a Gratitude Buddy
Find a gratitude accountability buddy. Send daily messages to each other with things you are grateful for. You can keep it short, listing even one new thing each day. You can send a photo or video as well. You may even call each other if that feels more personal.
Make Gratitude a Family Event
Make time to say your gratitude together with your partner, children, or parents. If you live far from your family, you can call them. If you are living with roommates, you can make it a roommate-event. The definition is up to you, but sharing your gratitude with each other can create a special connection. Dinner time or at night before winding down are special times to schedule these conversations.
Share Your Gratitude on Social Media
Sharing your gratitude on social media is a positive practice. Use #Gratitude on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. Share images, stories or simple words. Your open gratitude practice will have a ripple effect. It is a simple way to put a smile on other people’s faces and inspire to them to be grateful.
Meditate on Gratitude
Schedule a 5-10 minute meditation focusing your attention on gratitude. Alternatively, dedicate the last few minutes of your regular meditation practice to gratitude. You can think about specific things you are grateful for. What’s even better is to simply focus on the deep feeling of gratitude.
Keep a Gratitude Jar
Pick a mason jar for this purpose. You can decorate it to make it more special. To keep a regular practice, write down three things you are grateful for each day on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. If you want to be more intuitive, you can certainly go as it feels and add new gratitude moments as they come up.
End Your Day with Gratitude
Since you started your day grateful, end it on the same note. Whether you write it down, post it on social media, draw a quick gratitude sketch, share it out loud with your partner or say it quietly to yourself, it is important to take a moment to reflect on what you were grateful for that day. It is a truly positive way to end your day.
Implementing these creative gratitude strategies can mix up your gratitude practice, engage all your senses and bring you many positive benefits. Remember, gratitude is a continuous practice that step by step can transform your life and bring joy to your everyday life.
What are your favorite ways to practice gratitude? How has your gratitude practice improved your life and well-being? Share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you and exchange gratitude strategies.