The Power of Practicing Gratitude

A lot is happening in the world right now and amid all this chaos, it can sometimes be hard to find the good. I have found myself struggling with this in the past, but a practice that has helped me come out of it is gratitude. When thinking of gratitude, what may come to mind is Thanksgiving and the tradition of going around the table, saying what you are grateful for. I love that we have a day where we can reflect on what we’re thankful for, however, this practice does not need to be reserved for one day. Gratitude is something that can, and should, be practiced daily.

 

Ever since I started implementing a practice of gratitude in my daily routine, I have noticed that my mood has improved dramatically, and my days started to feel more and more like a blessing. This improvement in mood and daily living is something that friends of mine have also expressed when practicing gratitude. Additionally, there are several articles that support the power of gratitude; some of which are published by Harvard Health Publishing and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine.   

We are all unique and there may be some practices of gratitude that work for you and some that  do not, and that’s okay. What matters is finding what benefits you. The following are a couple of ways I practice gratitude that work well for me.

 

Keep a gratitude journal 

 

The other day, my best friend had talked to me about keeping a separate journal that’s solely for gratitude and positivity. By doing this, over time as you pick up the journal, it rapidly improves your mood because all that's being written in it are positive things. 

 

Start and end your day with three things you are grateful for

 

When I am first starting my day, I always take a moment to write at least three things I am grateful for. By doing this, I tend to start my day on a positive note and in a good mood. When doing this at the end of the day, I shift the practice to three things that happened during the day, which I am grateful for. Even if it was a bad day, I take that time and find three things that I am still grateful for. Normally doing this on a day that is not so great, makes it seem not as bad. It also reminds me that no matter how bad the day may get, there's still something to be grateful for in it.

 

A gratitude jar 

 

At the beginning of quarantine, I painted some mason jars I found around my home. With one of those jars, I made a gratitude jar. Every week, I write on a piece of paper something I am grateful for. That way, on days where I am feeling down I pick a random piece of paper from that jar and am reminded of what I am grateful for. I also add special moments and memories in this jar to look back on. I always find myself feeling grateful for having made those memories. 

 

Life is beautiful and in many ways, it is like a rollercoaster. While there are days that are amazing and make you feel like you are on top of the world, there are also days where you feel like you keep going down and can't get up. And that's okay. Practicing gratitude makes those amazing days feel like pure bliss and those hard days a bit more manageable. I hope that some of the practices I've shared with you help you with your journey to practicing gratitude. And if not, that’s okay. I hope that wherever it may be, you find something that works for you.