4 Simple Ways To Begin A Gratitude Practice That You’ll Keep3 min read

Gratitude is the gateway to happiness. 

You don’t wake up one day, and you’re full of gratitude. For most of us, we have to work our way up there. Like most things, gratitude is a daily practice. It becomes stronger with each passing day. 

10-week study showed that the people who journaled about gratitude were more optimistic than those who didn’t journal about being grateful. There’s a direct correlation between gratitude and an increase in an individual’s well-being

It doesn’t take much to be grateful. And it doesn’t take much to show gratitude towards others. Doing so shifts your entire energy. It places you in a “feel-good” state of existence.

Each morning when I wake up, I look in the mirror and say, “Thank you, God, for waking me up this morning.” I search for ways to show my appreciation for people and anything outside of myself. 

Again, you don’t need to do much. Here are five ways you can begin a gratitude practice:

1. Start a gratitude journal. Each day, write something makes you grateful. Challenge yourself to write something different every time. Do this for 30 days. When you begin, write about how you feel about the process. When you finish, write about how you feel. Attempt to reflect on the before and after of the gratitude practice.

2. Next, make it a habit to thank someone or write a thank you note. I worked at a school, in which, almost daily, we provided shoutouts to the staff. It became a part of the culture.

We consistently showed our appreciation or wrote notes to thank the team for whatever they did. This ritual cultivated goodness in not only the person who received but also to the person who gave it. 

3. Then, think of everything you feel grateful to have. Repeat out loud to yourself, “I’m blessed to have a warm home. I’m blessed to have food to eat.” Think of everything that you have that makes you feel fortunate and privileged.

I always think about how grateful I am to have a U.S. passport. I travel often, and having a U.S. passport makes it relatively easy. Or, how privileged I am to be able to obtain any job I want because of my higher education. It could be as small as I feel blessed to have socks on my feet. One of the most requested items from homeless shelters is socks. 

4. Lastly, meditation is another way to draw you closer to gratitude because most people have difficulties with remaining present. Either they have one foot in the future or one foot in the past. Rarely do they stand firmly in the here and now. Meditation has a way of bringing more inner peace and gratitude to the surface. 

As you move about this world and as you experience the tidal waves of life, think about beginning a gratitude practice. This practice first benefits you. By continuing the practice it’s then extended out into the rest of the world. 

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