3 Mindful Gratitude Practices to Try Right Now
Think fast: What’s in your awareness, right now? Is there something you can be grateful for?
Practicing mindfulness helps us notice what’s happening, in the now. The more we’re able to tune into the now, the more we are able to identify things to be grateful for. It becomes easier to notice the trees changing colors in fall, or the smile from the person you just walked by. Though these may seem like small things, increasing your gratitude starts with this!
Why is Gratitude Important?
People with gratitude practices experience:
- Better physical health
- Greater optimism toward life
- Meeting goals more easily
- Less anxiety and depression
- Better sleep
- More resilience during stressful situations
3 Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Try a gratitude journal. It doesn’t need to be fancy or elaborate. But carving out a little quiet time once or twice per week to take note of things you felt thankful for can lead to more happiness and contentment. Try starting with people you’re grateful for, and don’t be afraid to go into detail. Or, write about how life would be different if certain things were NOT in your life. Maybe you don’t love your job right now, but you can be grateful for how it allows for you and your family to go on fun vacations.
- Make a gratitude jar. This is a fun one for families. If you’re feeling crafty, decorate your jar and keep it in a place where everyone will see it. Place a pad of post-its and a pen next to it and encourage everyone in the family to share little things throughout the week that made them feel grateful.
- Write a letter (or email or text) of gratitude. Think of a person in your life who has shown you support. Brainstorm all the ways they make life better, simply by being themselves. Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to be silly and say what’s in your heart. This practice has an added benefit for you: being able to experience how the person receives your gratitude.
Finding reasons to be grateful gets easier the more mindfully you live your life. A good place to start is by noticing the little things. Most of us find it easy to be grateful for the big things in life—the accomplishments, the events, the milestones. But there’s a lot of life in between big events, and the more you practice mindfulness, the more gratitude you start to feel.