Although November is a great time to think about being grateful, anytime is a good time to start up a regular gratitude practice!
Practicing gratitude actually comes with some unique and awesome benefits. Recent research has shown having an attitude of gratitude can…
- Lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and help you get better sleep.”
- Help you “have better heart health…less inflammation, and healthier heart rhythms.”
- Improve your mental and emotional health.
- Boot your self esteem.
Pretty neat right?
I personally got to experience the positive benefits of a regular gratitude practice when I was in college and one of my class assignments was to keep a gratitude journal for the semester. It was honestly life changing!
I noticed a major difference in my stress levels, sleep, and overall attitude. It inspired me to continue the practice (although sometimes off and on) as an adult.
How to Start a Gratitude Practice in 5 Steps
1. Get yourself a cute journal
Find a cute journal that you will look forward to writing in each night. Of course you can do this on your phone, but I find there’s something extra special about pen and paper.
2. Be consistent and make it a habit.
Make it easy to remember to write in your gratitude journal daily by putting it next to your bedside, on the kitchen table, or even by your yoga mat. Assign daily gratitude journaling to a part of your day. Maybe its first thing when you wake up or after a workout. I like to journal right before bedtime.
3. Be specific.
Try writing three very specific things you are grateful for and why. The why really makes the difference and helps you make the positive connection.
- I’m grateful for my mom because she took the time to talk to me on the phone today when I was having a hard day.
- I’m grateful for my refrigerator because it allows me to keep fresh healthy food on hand.
- I’m grateful for the sunshine today. It warmed me up and boosted my energy.
Even if you only have the time to write one thing down, do it! Consistency is key when it comes to starting a regular gratitude practice.
4. Include gratitude in your prayers and mediation.
Although keeping a gratitude journal is fantastic, it’s not the only way to cultivate more gratitude in your life.
Starting your prayers with what you are grateful for and focusing on what you are grateful for during mediation are other fantastic ways to feel that warm feeling of peace and gratitude.
5. Practice gratitude on your hardest days.
Practicing gratitude on the days when life just sucks is the hardest, but it’s usually the time when we need it most!
Next time you have a rough day, pause and write in your journal or take 3 deep breaths and think of one thing you are grateful for that day. It might just turn your day around!
Wrapping it Up
Starting a gratitude practice is a great way to boost your mental and physical health. It’s easy to get started and there’s lots of ways to make the practice of gratitude a daily habit.
I hope this helps you get started and that you know I’m grateful for YOU for taking the time to read this message and work on your own health. You got this!