I am a self confessed gratitude junkie – it’s something that I practice all day every day. I have been doing it for nearly 4 years now to the point that it has become second nature. In this post, I want to speak about my gratitude journey, how it has helped me, the gratitude practices that I do and some simple steps of how to get into this wonderful experience. I’ll try not to get too preachy 🙂
Gratitude is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive, (Wikipedia). So gratitude is exactly that, saying thank you for every little thing that happens to you no matter how big or small – I know that it’s human nature to wait till we see the big things before we are grateful. In my opinion, God/the Universe/ what every you want to call it, that which is greater than us appreciates any thankfulness that we send It’s way.
My gratitude journey started after after I bought The Magic book in 2012 – prior to reading this, I had read The Secret so I was keen on reading the next book from Rhonda Byrne. It is a simple book that you complete over 28 days, each day is filled with a teaching and gratitude exercise that you can do. I think it’s an awesome book to get you started on the journey. This is how I started learning to be consciously grateful.
How I practice my gratitude
Each and every single day, the first thing I do when I wake up is to say: “Thank You”. Throughout my day I am then consciously looking for things to be grateful for: be it I get a parking spot close to the door at the shopping mall and more recently I have been thankful everyday for the aircon in my work car – Thank you Lord, Hallelujah! Sometimes, I get it right and sometimes I don’t, but the key is to do it when you remember and don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss some days. The ‘physical’ part of my gratitude practice that I do is to write in my journal 10 things I am grateful for that day and write why I am grateful.
I have kept various gratitude journals through the years, I first used my phone and my iPad (there are great gratitude apps). From 2015, I started keeping a hard copy gratitude journal. I love this book, I have nearly written on all the pages in 1 year! I try to write everyday, but some days are better than others. From my 2 experiences, I prefer keeping a hard copy journal than using the apps.
How to go about doing this
When you wake up in the morning, set your intention to find things to be grateful for in your day, no matter how small. Let us say you find that your lunch is on special that day, say in your mind: thank you, thank you, thank you that my favourite lunch was on special because that means I have more money in my pocket. You can even set reminders on your phone to help you remember. You will find that once you are consistent, it is much easier to find things to be grateful for. At the end of the day, you can run through your day and write 10 of the major gratitude points that you experienced.
I am a firm believer in that we create our future through our thoughts and feelings and thus if you are feeling grateful, you are feeling happy and joyful and this brings more of those moments and experiences into your life. In saying that, gratitude is not about just saying thank you and forgetting about it, it needs to be done with feeling.