Practical steps on how to start a daily gratitude practice plus the many benefits of gratitude journaling.
This year has taught me a lot about the power of your mindset. I’m not one of those overly positive people who only sees the good in things, people, and situations. I like to think of myself as a realist. I hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
Going into quarantine, I thought I was ready to make some memories with my family, and then I found myself sitting in a cesspool of doom and gloom. It hit me that I needed to reassess my gratitude practice and change my mindset.
The Importance of a Gratitude Practice
A couple of years ago I bought one of those gratitude notebooks. It had sections to fill out daily with what you were grateful for. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t use it. I was in one of the most stressful times ever. It was within the first year of entrepreneurship, and I was broke, struggling to get pregnant, and completely stressed out.
In my mind, this meant I had nothing to be grateful for.
Yet, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This is the reason having a gratitude practice in place is so important. When times are good, it’s easy to see all the things to be grateful for. You may have accomplished whatever goal you set out to do and so you’re grateful. You feel good. Everything is great. But what happens when things get hard? Can you see the beauty then?
If your answer is no, you aren’t alone. Practicing being intentional about having a thankful heart is one of the ways to change your mindset when you’re in space of contention. When you change your mindset, you change your thoughts which then change your actions—ultimately putting you in a different space altogether.
Here’s How to Get Started (and Keep Going)
In an ideal world, this would be as easy as waking up, stretching and immediately having a grateful heart. But in reality, this takes some work—especially for it to be sustainable.
Your gratitude practice should have the following components:
A Set Time
The best time to do your gratitude practice is in the morning. Why, right? I mean, who has things to be grateful for fresh out the bed? I thought the same thing, too, until I started doing it. Starting your day with the mindset of gratitude changes your attitude. I’m not a morning person at all but when I start my day giving thanks for waking up, having a good sleep and acknowledging the previous day’s moments to be thankful for, everything shifts.
A Place to Write
I know, in this time that we’re focusing our efforts on living a more green life this can be a pain point. But there are really great, eco-friendly notebooks and inks out there along with being able to use digital notebooks. Writing down what you’re thankful for is important for a couple reasons. On days where it’s hard to find gratitude, you can go back and look at things you’ve written down previously. It’s also a good way to begin manifesting things that you’d like to have and are working toward.
It can take between 14-26 days to create a habit. If this is your struggle, again, you aren’t alone! Set a reminder to sit down and be prepared to shift your mindset. If you’re someone who will write for forever, set a timer for two minutes and write until the alarm. This is a quick and powerful practice so you want to make sure you are mindful of the time.
What To Expect When Practicing Intentional Gratitude
I don’t want to fib and say something like, “You’ll immediately feel enlightenment!” It doesn’t quite work that way.
At first you may resent it, especially if you’re in a negative space. But the more you practice the intentional shift of your mindset, the easier it will be. And you may find yourself happier, more motivated, and more appreciative of what you already have.
To get started with intentional self-care and gratitude journaling, now through January, you can get 20% off of Aaronica’s Self-Care Planner with code GREENCHILD.