Gratitude has been a very popular topic over the last few years, but has gained even more momentum in 2019.
Everywhere you look there is something about the importance of gratitude or what to be grateful for. And the fact of the matter is, everything that’s being spewed about it is true! Gratitude is exponentially important and 1000% can change your life.
With that being said, though, I want to dive more into the nitty gritty of gratitude and why it’s actually important while focusing a little less on the surface level, more obvious ideas about it.
Per a quick google search, you will read the definition of gratitude as the following :
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Now you may be saying - “No shit Sherlock - I thought we were getting to the nitty gritty and not focusing on surface level obviousness.”
To that I will say - be grateful for your horses, and hold them please!
We all have things in life that we are grateful for, but it’s rare that we actually slow down and take enough time to appreciate them fully. We’re all grateful for family, friends, roofs over our heads, etc. but these aren’t things that we stop to think about on a daily basis.
Gratitude can be a serious life changer when used as a tool.
As someone who has been through some serious bouts of depression and anxiety, I can honestly say that developing a gratitude practice saved my life.
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Developing a gratitude practice
I’ve written several posts about mindfulness and have touched on developing a gratitude practice in pretty much all of them. Although the way that I execute my practice has changed over the years, I always have a core foundation that I fall back on.
When I first dove into building a more grateful heart, I was writing 10 things down every morning that I was grateful for. I tried very hard to not write the same thing down twice so that I could expand my knowledge of all that I had to be grateful for.
You’ll learn very fast that when you’re discussing things you have in your life that you are grateful for, you will tend to stick to a surface level answer - family, friends, food, etc. But when you challenge yourself to not put down the same answer twice, you’ll discover that there are so many new layers to this gratitude, woo-woo practice.
I now have a journal that I use solely for my practice. It’s a legitimate gratitude journal with the perfect amount of space for me to write exactly what I’m feeling grateful for in that moment.
Because I try so hard to think outside of the box and not duplicate my answers, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many things that I have going for me that I never even noticed before.
How does gratitude change you?
Well, as a society we’re now programmed to live in a lack mindset. We never have enough. We’re always wanting something we see that cool person on Instagram have. We’re never happy with what is right in front of our faces.
When you slow down and build a gratitude practice, you start to realize how abundant you already are.
When I stuck with my practice consistently, I realized how blessed I already am and stopped being envious of the people I saw on Instagram or in the media. Taking time out of your busy day to spend time with yourself and brainstorm all that you already have is a beautiful way to ground yourself and get your head out of fantasies.
The longer you stick with the practice, the more natural a grateful mindset will become. Like anything new you try, it will feel foreign at first. Like I said, we’re programmed to live in lack and envy. But with time, dedication and honesty, you can build a whole new life for yourself based on this practice alone.
Things you’re grateful for that you probably don’t even think of
Your senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste)
A steady job that supplies you with a paycheck
The money you use to buy yourself food and water
Your body as a vessel that carries you throughout each day
Artwork (created by you or others)
Electricity + running water
A warm shower
A bed + pillow
Hands to write with
A beating heart
A safe drive to and from work everyday
The decor that makes your house home
These are just some of the many things that get overlooked by most people on a daily basis. You are surrounded by things to feel grateful for.
So - I have a challenge for you!
For the next month, choose 3 days out of each week to sit with yourself and brainstorm things that you grateful for. Write them down. Don’t duplicate your answers. And try to really think outside of the box.
I guarantee you will feel less pressure and lack at the end of the month. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just start!
Feeling kinda lost in the gratitude sauce? Try one of these gratitude journals to help give you the boost of flow you may be needing.
Disclosure : Some of the links within this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and continue on to a purchase.