Do you practice gratitude every single day?
Gratitude: (noun) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I have always felt I had a good grasp on being thankful. I’ve always loved to send out ‘thank you‘ notes to friends and family and every kind gesture in my direction is met with a sign of appreciation, verbal or otherwise.
But I didn’t start truly feeling gratitude until I started practicing it.
You might be thinking – “How the heck do you PRACTICE gratitude? What does that even mean? Isn’t that just saying thank you?”
Short answer – no, it’s not.
Gratitude is so much more than just ‘being thankful.’ It is more than the act of saying thank you and feeling appreciative towards someone. It’s bigger than a hallmark card.
Gratitude is an all-encompassing emotion. It’s a muscle that we need to exercise multiple times per day. It’s a feeling we need to evoke within ourselves every chance we get.
Gratitude, is a practice.
Here’s Why You Should Practice Gratitude Every Single Day
As if pertains to food and nutrition, practicing gratitude helps us to eat more mindfully. Recognizing that food is meant to nourish and heal can empower us. We can control what we eat instead of letting what we eat control us. Showing an appreciation for and connection to the food we consume causes us to make better food choices, eat more slowly and in turn, eat less.
How to practice:
I invite you to show gratitude for your food before every meal – whatever that looks like for you. It can be a prayer, meditation, reflection or silent nod of appreciation. I like to say a rapid-fire list of things I’m grateful for before I take my first bite.
In regards to friendships and relationships, practicing gratitude means demonstrating respect and recognition for someone else’s place in our lives. Even if the time spent with them was brief, or ended painfully, we can find gratitude for and purpose in their presence.
How to practice:
I choose 1-3 people every morning to list in the gratitude section of my journal. I write their names and all of the qualities about them I am grateful for. I also love to follow that up with a quick text or phone call to share my love and appreciation for them. If it’s someone who is no longer in my life, I quietly reflect on our time together and work towards acceptance of their absence.
When it comes to ourselves, practicing gratitude means engaging in self-love and self-care. It involves getting enough sleep, moving our bodies, hydrating, and being positive, kind and noble in our thoughts and actions.
How to practice:
Every morning I wake up and meditate. I spend 20 minutes in silent solitude in order to quiet my mind and strengthen my heart. I drink water and recite my daily positive affirmations to my reflection in the mirror. I journal and check-in with how I’m feeling – physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. This allows me to approach my day and all of the people in it with patience, kindness and love.
Ever since I created a vigilant gratitude practice and began incorporating it into my routine, I find myself more calm and less depressed than ever before. Even on my worst days, I can find at least one thing to be grateful for – and that one thing is my life, my existence. Every day is one more opportunity to love others, to love myself, to learn, grow, achieve and succeed.
I invite you to explore ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life. Feel free to use any of the ideas presented here or create your own. And I’d like to take a moment to thank you for reading this and/or any of the content I have created. I recognize that your time is precious and any amount that you spend reading my words is very much appreciated.