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7 Gratitude Practices to Change Your Life

We've all heard by now that practicing gratitude is meant to help our levels of wellbeing. But what does "practicing gratitude" actually mean? What benefits does it hold? & how do we go about incorporating this into our already busy lives, without it feeling like just one other thing to cross off our to-do list?

My aim today is to answer these questions & to provide you with seven simple, yet highly effective, tools that you can use in your every day life to live a life full of gratitude & abundance.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is defined by Oxford Languages as "the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for & to return kindness."

Why should we be practicing gratitude?

According to a Harvard University study "In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly & consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, & build strong relationships." Numerous studies have been undertaken that back up these findings & it seems that overall, those who practice gratitude daily in some form or another, as well as receiving thanks & gratitude from others, do generally have a more positive outlook on life, feel more fulfilled & their levels of overall wellbeing increase too.

Taking the time to simply notice what we already have in our lives to be thankful for sounds like a cliché, but it has been proven to raise people's happiness & contentment with their lives by 10%. Other positive benefits from practicing gratitude include ; a rise in self-esteem which may lead to greater financial abundance, better relationships with ourselves & others, less stress, enhanced optimism & a deeper connection to spirituality. The list goes on & on but it's not hard to see why gratitude has become such a buzz word in the wellness space with a resume like that. But how can you include gratitude into your life regularly in order to see & feel the benefits?

How can we practice gratitude?

Presently app - This is one I personally do every day. Using the free gratitude journal app on my phone, I write down three things I'm grateful for every evening before I get into bed. There isn't a set amount you have to write in the app, I just chose three things for simplicity but you could write entire paragraphs if you'd like. The beauty of doing this on my phone is that I nearly always have it with me & it sends me reminders at my chosen time each day, so it's unlikely I'll forget. It also sends you little congratulations once you've hit certain mile stones such as 100 days of gratitude.

Journaling - like with the previous suggestion, you can use your journal each morning or evening to write down three things you are grateful for that day. Another option would be to follow some more precise journaling prompts to help you dig a little deeper into your gratitude practise. Lots of awesome journaling prompts can be found on sites such as Pinterest but I've also included some of my favourites down below to get you started.

Journaling Prompts for Gratitude

- What made you smile today?

- Who in your life are you most grateful for?

- What is your favourite part of each day?

- What is a lesson you have learned that you are now grateful for?

Meeting with loved ones to voice your gratitude - I heard someone (I forget who) mention this on a podcast once & I loved it so much I just had to share it here. Put simply you chose a time when you & your partner/ children/ house mates & you are all together at the end of the day, perhaps when eating dinner together & you go around the table saying one (or more) things you're grateful for each day. It's a wonderful way to make the practise of gratitude more sociable & spread the love & high vibes to each other. If you live solo or don't run on the same schedule as the people you live with you could always create a gratitude group chat to regularly share the things you are thankful for.

Showing gratitude with words & actions - this can be as simple as saying thank you to someone who holds a door open for you, or writing a sweet message of thanks to your loved one for when they get home from work or school. It could be cooking for a friend, or sending flowers to your nan. It could be picking up the phone to tell that friend you haven't seen in years that you're still grateful they exist, even if they're on the other side of the world to you now. Maybe it's a hug or a kiss, maybe it's a heartfelt letter or a cake you've baked. The beauty is the act can be small but the impact of an intentional word (spoken or written) or action to show someone you're thankful can be HUGE.

Dedicate your practice to someone/ something - dedicating your practise to someone is a beautifully sacred way to send out loving, grateful energy to them, whether that's through prayer, meditation or yoga asana, there is something truly powerful about using your practise for something greater than yourself.

Enjoy the little things - taking time to notice all the good that is already in your life is one of the easiest & most powerful ways to practice gratitude. The things you notice at first may seem small & insignificant but when we find the beauty in the mundane aspects of life & realise that those are the magical pieces that weave our entire existence together, that's when life really becomes incredible.

Remember to thank yourself - when taking about practicing gratitude, we often hear about thanking others which of course we should do. I do think it's also important however, to take a minute to thank yourself. Thank yourself for taking the five minutes out of your day to meditate with that new app you downloaded, thank yourself for taking the initiative to meal prep on a Sunday evening, so that Mon-Fri wasn't so rushed & stressful. Thank your feet supporting you, your legs for taking you on hikes, your arms for carrying your children & your ears for letting you experience the wonder of music, or deep & meaningful conversations with those you love most. Thank yourself for taking the evening to rest when you needed, or for simply making it through the day. Taking a moment to be grateful for the incredible, perfectly imperfect human you are is more powerful than you may ever know.

Now it's over to you. I would suggest choosing one or two of the suggestions I've given you here initially. Start small, maybe even setting yourself the goal of practicing gratitude once or twice a week to begin with & work your way up to daily. The aim here is for this to feel sustainable, a practise that can smoothly slot into your day, adding to your overall health & wellbeing not taking from it.

Maybe it's the warmth that fills you up as you sip your first cup of tea in the morning, perhaps it's the feeling of a cool breeze brushing past your cheek on a hot Summer's day. Maybe you're grateful for the electronic device on which you're reading this blog post or eyes that are viewing the screen. There truly is always something to be grateful for. Even in the darkest of times, look for the light.



Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I share all about yoga & intentional & authentic living for a healthier mind, body, soul, Earth connection.

Have a blessed day ♡

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