The benefits of developing a gratitude practice can be transformative. Expressing gratitude can positively benefit your mindset, your emotions and your health.
People who regularly practice gratitude are more thankful and appreciate all the positive things in their life.
Building a simple daily gratitude practice can boost confidence, happiness and wellbeing. Learning how to develop a gratitude practice helps people feel better about themselves and enables them to feel happier, healthier and more positive about their present and their future.
Practising gratitude will make you feel more grateful, more thankful and more appreciative of everything you have in your life. Gratitude changes your mindset.
Gratitude simply helps you feel more positive about your life and ensures you see and capture the limitless opportunities available to you.
If you want to learn how to practice gratitude, this article shares 7 simple ways to start a gratitude practice today. Practising gratitude has transformational effects. Expressing gratitude can boost your sense of wellbeing, confidence and mental health.
Practising gratitude starts with developing a gratitude mindset. Get my step-by-step guide on how to develop a gratitude mindset.
The importance of practicing gratitude
Gratitude helps people more positive and abundant. People feel and express gratitude in many ways, but they are always focused on the things that are good in their life, rather than negative things.
Practicing gratitude can improve your self-confidence, improve your relationships and help you improve your physical and mental wellbeing. When you express gratitude every day your relationships improve, you experience more joy, you’re happier and your appreciation grows.
Expressing gratitude can make you feel more optimistic and reduce stress. Gratitude emphasises the positive and focuses your mind on abundance , rather than scarcity.
Read more about how to develop an abundance mindset
The benefits of gratitude
Developing a gratitude practice has a number of mental, physical and emotional benefits. Here are 8 benefits of gratitude:
- Gratitude improves self-esteem
- Being grateful improves self-confidence
- Gratitude increases happiness
- Being grateful lowers stress levels
- Gratitude improves relationships
- Gratitude improves physical health
- Being grateful helps you sleep better
- Gratitude enhances empathy
Read also: How to develop an attitude of gratitude
7 simple ways to practice gratitude
Here are 7 simple ways to start developing a gratitude practice.
1. Express your gratitude daily
Whether you’re writing in your gratitude journal or just saying what you’re grateful for each day, picking three things you are grateful for each day is a great place to start.
The practice of gratitude should be something you want to do each day. That you look forward to expressing gratitude each day.
Picking three things to be grateful for is manageable. You won’t feel overwhelmed to have to find more and more things to be grateful for.
If you intentionally choose three things each day to be grateful for, it becomes easier for gratitude to become a habit, and for you to stick with a gratitude practice.
Read more about incorporating gratitude into your daily planning.
2. Practice gratitude rituals
When you express gratitude for the little things in your life their value grows. Gratitude helps you look at everything through a new lens, a lens of appreciation and being thankful.
Developing a powerful gratitude practice means you appreciate something daily, however small. This could be sending someone a handwritten note, noticing the beauty in nature each day, saying thank you more often or making a conscious effort to appreciate when things are given to you, or done for you.
If you keep a gratitude journal, mix up the things you write in it each day. Expressing gratitude can become boring if you appreciate the same things each day.
Look for the small things that you’re happy about or grateful for, and take the time to acknowledge them.
3. Start a gratitude journal
It can be difficult sometimes to feel grateful. You may be experiencing challenges in your life that you can’t see any positives about. During these time, gratitude becomes even more important. Use a gratitude journal to start capturing everything that you’re grateful for.
If you can find gratitude in your challenges, your gratitude practice becomes even more powerful.
When difficult moments strike, try to find something, however small, to express thanks or appreciation for.
Alternatively, take the focus away from yourself. Spend some time with loved ones, do something you love to do, volunteer, or practice some other form of mindfulness.
4. Feel gratitude for what matters in the moment
Developing a gratitude practice enhances your experience in the present moment. By being present to that single moment in time, and appreciating everything about it, you begin to become more grateful for all of these little moments.
Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be about giving thanks to big things all the time. It is often the smallest of things that create the biggest impact or change in our lives.
But if we don’t take a moment to acknowledge the moment, and be grateful for it, it will just fade away. A gratitude practice is all being present. If you want to build up your own practice of gratitude notice, and pay attention to, all of the good things you experience in the present.
Read more about the benefits of being present in the moment.
5. Make your gratitude practice a habit
Practicing gratitude each day builds a habit. Building a habit takes consistency and daily practice. If you want to learn how to develop an attitude of gratitude commit to being grateful every day for a specific period of time.
The more you express gratitude daily, the more powerful your gratitude becomes. If you skip days, your gratitude becomes less powerful. The key to developing a gratitude practice is consistency and repetition.
6. Develop proactive gratitude
There is a big difference between reactive gratitude and proactive gratitude. Reactive gratitude is simply saying thank you, or feeling appreciative when something happens to you.
Reactive gratitude is good, but proactive gratitude is more powerful. With proactive gratitude you are making a choice to be grateful to someone or for something proactively.
Nothing has to happen first for you to be grateful. You are causing yourself to be grateful, rather than being grateful as an effect of something else.
This might mean sending handwritten cards just because you want to express your appreciation. Writing down everything you appreciate about someone.
It can be anything, but the point is that you choose to express gratitude first, without expecting anything in return.
7. Choose abundance, not scarcity
A gratitude mindset and an abundance mindset are heavily connected. Gratitude can change your perspective and mindset for the better and increase more positive thinking.
When you focus on abundance you feel more grateful for what you have right now, and what you could have in the future.
When you have a scarcity mindset, you feel that there aren’t enough good things for you now and there will never be enough good things for you in the future.
Gratitude and abundance are focused on the limitless opportunities available, which creates positive feelings. A scarcity mindset, in contrast, can result in feelings of fear, stress, anxiety. The result, is a feeling that there isn’t actually anything to be grateful for.
Read more on how to develop an abundance mindset.
Practicing gratitude can make you feel happier, more positive, more energetic and make you appreciate everything you have in your life in technicolour.
Use these 7 tips to create your own gratitude practice. Research by University of Berkeley has found that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you consciously practice gratitude. That’s a good enough reason to start your own gratitude practice.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Do you have a gratitude practice?
What’s the number one benefit of gratitude for you?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. He is the Founder of time management coaching company Lucemi Consulting. Mark provides time management coaching programs to entrepreneurs and leaders in London, Essex, Suffolk, East Anglia and throughout the UK and US.
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