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5 Practical ways to bring gratitude to your Life

Author: Stacey Arsenault

Have you ever wondered: “what’s all the buzz about gratitude?”  We’ve got you covered! Our brain is like velcro for those negative moments. They stick in our mind even when we don’t want them to.  When it comes to those positive moments, our brain is like a strainer, they slip on through. This is why it’s important to take the time to focus on the good so those positive moments stick. When you actively create a gratitude practice, it can lead to a more positive attitude and joyful life.

What does a gratitude practice look like? It can take many different shapes and it’s important to find a way that works for you.  What’s most important is that you take ACTION and create a routine versus just acknowledging that gratitude is important. Here are some ideas to get you started. Keep in mind that you don’t need a grand magical moment to practice gratitude. Being grateful is being aware of those small moments that you appreciate.

1. Reflect! A great way to end your day is to acknowledge what happened that you’re grateful for.  You can write them in your journal, tweet them, or share them with a loved one.

2. Take mini gratitude break.  Stop mid-day and reflect on what’s going well so far.  This can be a great way to help turn your day around if you’re having “one of those days” or help keep the positivity going if it’s been a great day.

3. Snap it!  Maybe you’re more of the creative type, or you want to spice up your gratitude practice.  Make it your goal to take one picture each day of what you’re grateful for. Turn it into a grateful treasure hunt, and be on the search for the good in your day! Then, post your pictures on Instagram, turn them into a collage, or drop them in a folder and take a peek at the end of the month. Get creative with it!

4. Make it a family event. Add your gratitude practice to the family dinner table (or another family time). Take turns sharing with your family members what you’re grateful for that day.  It can be a great way to discover what happened in your family’s day. When sharing with others, it can be really meaningful to add additional gratitude about a family member to help foster a sense of community and kindness  (ex. I really appreciated it when you helped me when I was running late this morning).

5. Make mental picture.  When you catch yourself in a really great moment that you appreciate, take a moment to savor it by creating a mental picture. Close your eyes and picture exactly what you’re experiencing, what you smell, and how you feel. Soak in the moment!   

What kind of gratitude practice would work best for you?  Experiment and see which method fits your lifestyle.