There are so many benefits to living a life of gratitude that once you start you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t done so sooner. With these easy, yet powerful ways to accelerate your gratitude journey, you will be more optimistic about your future while also attracting more positive things into your life.
Consistency is the most important thing when you are trying to develop a habit of gratitude or any habit for that matter. It takes at least 21 days for a new habit to form and 90 days to make a lifestyle so remember to give yourself grace.
If you are committed to making the transition to a gratitude filled life then these easy and effective methods will help you. They are all simple to implement and may very well be things you’re doing currently.
“Train your mind to concentrate only on positive, creative, and inspiring thoughts. If you train your mind like this for a while you will see that the circumstances of your life change too.”― Marc Reklau, 30 Days- Change your habits, Change your life
1. Start and Maintain a Gratitude Journal
There is real power in writing things down. Nobody really knows the reason why but it has been proven that when we write things down they manifest more. A study of Japanese University students and recent graduates (University of Tokyo) has revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory. When you write things down not only do you have a record which you can reflect back on at a future time but you are making a stronger commitment to whatever it is you’ve written.
When people hear the word “journal” they think of fancy leather bound diary type books that cost a ton of money. You don’t need anything fancy nor costly, a simple notebook and pen are fine for starters. Keep this near your bed so that you can record your gratitude when you first rise in the morning and before you go to sleep at night. Start by taking just a minute or two to write down what you are grateful for each day.
Starting a gratitude journal can serve as your personal accountability partner and does not have to be labor-intensive. Get into the habit of recording all of your gratitude moments in your journal. At the end of the day think about what has happened and the events where you were grateful to others. Record all of these in your journal. It doesn’t matter how small the events were – if they caused you to express gratitude then make an entry about them.
The beauty of having a gratitude journal is that you can go through it once a week to reflect on what you were grateful for the previous week. This will inspire you and keep you firmly on your path to creating a gratitude habit/routine. Additionally keeping a journal or notebook of sorts to track your gratitude journey can help you monitor the positive progression and results.
2. Live in the Moment
Some people spend waaaay too much time dwelling on and living in the past while missing out on what’s before them. What has happened in the past is gone and there are ways that you can be grateful for events that have happened in your life without stealing time from your present. Let’s be clear, if we don’t know where we’ve been how can we navigate where we’re going? As with everything in life, doing so in moderation and with a purpose is the key; appreciating where you’ve been [good, bad, and indifferent] and how that has contributed to your present life is the difference.
I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.– Maya Angelou
So just focus on the here and now and take a look around you. Who do you have in your life that supports you, brings you joy? What things do you have in your life? How far have you come from where you started? Take a few minutes each day to just sit quietly and live in the moment. Focus on the here and now and all the things that are going right in your life no matter how big or small. If you need to go to a “special place” to really live in the moment that’s fine. Find somewhere that inspires you and visit this place regularly to find things in your life to be grateful for.
3. Create a List of Gratitude Benefits
Living a life based on gratitude provides many benefits to your mental and spiritual well-being, outlook on life, and approach to situations to name a few. Here are some benefits to consider as you embark on your journey of gratitude:
- Enhances the awareness of the abundance that already exists in your life
- Helps you have more abundance in your life
- Minimizes the stress in your life
- Makes you a lot more optimistic about your future
- Provides you with an increased sense of community
- Improves your resilience to handling difficult events
- Increases your sense of emotional well being
- Increases the amount of physical activity in your life
- Helps you to sleep better
- Improves your physical health
- Reduces feelings of depression
- Reduces feelings of anxiety
- Gives your immune and cardiovascular systems a boost
Do some research online and find more benefits of gratitude. Create a list of the benefits which really resonate with you and align to the things you really want. You can either write these down in your gratitude journal (excellent idea!) or you can create a list in your mobile using the notes feature. Really and truly as long as you write it down so that you can easily refer to your list will benefit you most.
The purpose of this list is to provide you with the motivation to create a habit of gratitude so that it becomes second nature. If using a journal or notebook then add the benefits to your journal and keep it near your bed and read it when you get up in the morning/before you go to sleep at night. This will send the right signals to your subconscious mind and in time it will help you to achieve your gratitude goals.
4. Get Inspiration from Podcasts and YouTube
The Internet is truly something that we can all be grateful for as much as we can equally despise it. It provides us with a whole host of resources that we can use to gather inspiration to enhance our gratitude lifestyle right at our fingertips. If you visit YouTube.com you will find thousands of inspirational videos that you can watch to help you with practicing and expressing gratitude. Some of my favorite are the animated Abraham Hicks videos by various YouTubers, but all featuring short and sweet message regarding manifestation, creating our own reality, and law of attraction amongst other spiritual inspirations.
There are platforms and apps to subscribe and listen to podcasts to include Spotify, Apple Podcasts App, and Amazon Music to name a few. There truly is a podcast for nearly any subject you can think of and new ones are launching every day. Finding an inspirational podcast that you can listen to on the way to work, at work, while doing housework or truly just about anywhere you is far better than listening to the normal dross that is served up by radio stations.
There truly are an unlimited supply of videos, blogs, and podcasts dedicated to inspiring others so if you don’t have a favorite just yet, start by googling and take your pick until you find your tribe. All of this is free and readily accessible at your leisure. Watching a 3 minute inspirational video can work wonders for you, your spirit, and your mental well-being. Choose those that resonate most with you while helping you to see all of the good in the world. That way you will find plenty of things that you can be grateful for.
5. See the Good Around You
There is good all around you – all you need to do is look for it. Even amidst all the negativity, gloom and doom we are often inundated with in our day-to-day, there are always feel good stories mixed in. Often we have to retrain our brain to be laser focused on just the good while minimizing the other stuff. If you’re struggling to find some goodness around you then create some.
Life is so fast-paced these days that we often get so caught up in the motions of the daily hustle that we easily take things for granted. We often forget to pause and take time to appreciate the world we live in and the people in our lives. So take a little time each day to look around you and reflect on your life. If we just take a few seconds to pause throughout our day and focus on the smaller things, we will find that there is always something to be grateful for.
Leading a life of gratitude is all about being appreciative of what you already have. When you adopt a habit of gratitude you will truly see life through a different lens. You will become optimistic about life, you will attract more positivity in your life and your physical and mental health will benefit as well.
There you have it, our easy, yet powerful ways you can practice gratitude in your day-to-day life. Hopefully you will apply them to your daily life and see a difference a day can make.