INSIDE: Want to bring more gratitude to your day but not sure how to get started with practicing gratitude? I’ve got you covered! In this post, I’m sharing five simple things you can do to make embracing gratitude part of your daily routine. Let’s dive in!
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What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means different things to different people. For some, it’s a feeling or emotion. For others, it’s a mood or a personality trait. Whatever gratitude might mean to you, learning to embrace it can make you a much happier person.
I’ve been practicing gratitude on an almost daily basis for the last five years or so now and I cannot tell you the difference it has made to my emotional wellbeing.
Not only has it made me a happier, more positive person but I’m calmer and find it so much easier to see things from a glass-half-full perspective too.
Life is richer than you first might think…
When things aren’t going right or we’re having a tough time, it’s tempting focus on the things we want but don’t yet have. But all that does is bring us down. Which is silly because we already have so much to be thankful for. There is already so much good in our lives – even when times are tough.
And when we take the time to sit and think about all we have to be thankful for, we realise that life isn’t quite as bad as we might have first thought. Truth is, our lives are already so much richer than we think.
Bringing more gratitude into your life…
Never practiced gratitude before? Why not give it a try this week. The easiest way to get started is to make a habit of counting your blessings when you first get up and before you go to bed. And if the thought of writing them down is too overwhelming or like too much hard work, just say them to yourself in your head or out loud.
Taking a few moments each day to embrace gratitude and identify a couple of things you’re grateful for that day can help make this new habit become part of your daily routine. Before long, you’ll be amazed by how much you have to be thankful for.
Need a little help with getting started on embracing gratitude? Here are my five top tips for bringing more gratitude into your day.
Tip #1: Start small
The easiest way to make any new habit stick is to start small. Make practicing gratitude easy and you’ll be far more likely to do it on a regular basis.
When coming up with things that you’re grateful for, remember that they don’t need to be grand or fancy. Hearing the birds sing when you first open your eyes, the thought of stepping into a nice hot shower or taking that first sip of coffee from your favourite mug are great places to start.
Simple, small blessings such as these can have a massive impact both on your mood and the start of your day.
The same goes for when you go to bed too. Giving thanks for being able to snuggle under a nice warm duvet and kissing your loved one goodnight before turning off the light is a great way to end the day!
Tip #2: Add it to another part of your routine
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear suggests using ‘habit stacking’ as a way of making new habits stick. Since reading his book last year, I’ve tried this a LOT and I can tell you that it really works!
Tagging your new habit onto a habit that’s already part of your daily routine makes total sense. Make practicing gratitude part of something you already do every single day without even thinking about it and you’ll find it so much easier to make it part of your routine.
According to James Clear, the habit stacking formula goes like this:
“After [CURRENT habit], I will [NEW habit].”
One example he uses is stacking making a cup of tea with meditating: “After pouring a cup of tea each morning, I will meditate for one minute.”
You could totally do the exact same thing for embracing gratitude, which would go something like this: “While the kettle is boiling, I’ll come up with three things I’m grateful for.” Or: “After I’ve had my shower, I’m going to write down three things I’m grateful for.”
And at the end of the day, your habit stacking for embracing gratitude could be: “After I’ve put on my pyjamas, I’m going to write down three things I’m grateful for.” Or: “When I kiss my husband goodnight, I’m going to tell him three things I’m grateful for.”
See how easy habit stacking makes embracing gratitude?!
Tip #3: Create visual cues
Adding visual reminders to your environment can help you to take action. Especially if despite best intentions, you often find yourself thinking “I’ll do it later” or you forget to do things altogether.
So, what counts as a visual cue?
One thing that works great for me is post-it notes. I’ll add them to my front door so I don’t forget to take something out with me or I’ll add one with my daily affirmation written on it to my bathroom mirror so that I remember to say it while I’m cleaning my teeth.
Another way to remember to practice gratitude is to add a reminder to your phone. I use the reminder app on my phone all the time – without it, I’d never remember to do anything!
Set your phone to buzz at you ten minutes before you normally go to bed so that you don’t go to sleep before taking the time to think about what you’re thankful for that day.
Tip #4: Try turning things around
Every cloud has a silver lining, right? And whatever seems like a bitter trial at the time is often a blessing in disguise. Looking at things from a different perspective is a great way to practice gratitude.
If you can, try spending your day turning your thoughts, frustrations and complaints on their head.
Sure, you may have had to sit in 30 minutes of traffic but at least you got to listen to another episode of your favourite podcast.
Or, the fact that it’s raining means you can’t go for your usual morning walk but maybe you get to curl up on the sofa with a good book instead.
Look for the silver lining, turn your complaints into something positive and see how much of an impact it has on your day.
Tip #5: Write it down
If you’re finding it hard to come up with things that you’re grateful for on the spot, try writing them down when they come to you instead. Then, at the end of the day, when it’s time to reflect, pull out your list and relive how you felt when you wrote it down.
Carry a notebook in your bag or use the notes app on your phone. Try making it a habit to add things whenever you think of them and you’ll be amazed by just how many things you come up with.
Your list will serve as a great reminder of all you have to be thankful for whenever you’re having a tough time too. Whenever you’re feeling blue or discouraged, pull out your list and spend a few minutes going through it, picturing all the things you’ve written. You’ll instantly feel better!
Five ways to bring more gratitude to your day…
There you have it, my five top tips for making practicing gratitude more of a habit! Getting into the habit of recognising all that is good in your life really isn’t that hard. Add these small changes to your daily routine and you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to embrace gratitude every single day. Here they are again:
- Start small.
- Habit stack practicing gratitude to an already established daily habit.
- Create visual cues.
- Turn your complaints on their head.
- Write down things you’re grateful for when you think of them.
Want more help with embracing gratitude and practicing gratitude every day? Be sure to follow my Practicing Gratitude board on Pinterest!
That’s it for this post! Do you do practice gratitude? Are these tips going to help you bring more gratitude to your day? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
P.S. Download my FREE gratitude journal!
And if you want somewhere to record the things you’re grateful for each day, make sure you’re subscribed to A Simple and Contented Life. Because when you are, you also get access to my Subscriber’s Resource Library. Inside you’ll find a ton of cheatsheets, checklists, printables and workbooks all designed to help you make life LESS stressful and MORE enjoyable – including my FREE Gratitude Journal. Simply fill in your details below and I’ll add you to my mailing list!
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