Lifestyle Mindfulness

8 Tips for Cultivating More Gratitude in Your Life

A ritual I’ve adopted as part of my “morning routine” is to embrace each day with gratitudes and affirmations. Before I begin my day, I pull out my journal and list out three things I’m grateful for and three affirmations.  

Some days I wake up and all I can see is possibilities and my heart bubbles over with thanksgiving and praise.  On days such as these, my list of three gratitudes actually feels limiting, as I’m able to rattle off a number of things I’m grateful for without hesitation, and my affirmations for the day are easily ingested and internalized as “truth.”

Other days, it’s difficult to see the sun behind those thick, gray clouds and emotional fog. During these occasions, listing out my gratitudes and affirmations is particularly important, as they encourage me to keep my mind focused on what I know is true, noble, praiseworthy, and worthy of my mind’s attention and focus.  I am able to bring awareness to my thoughts and choose to draw my attention off of my problems and dwell on positive aspects of the day, as well as myself.

As I concentrate on the things for which I’m grateful (rather than focusing on the problems or negative circumstances I’m facing) and tap into the internal power of affirming myself based on who God tells me I am, I’m able to live more fully present and honor the day for the gift it truly is.  Rather than relying on my feelings and thoughts to dictate my truth (which are unreliable and do not always hold truth), I have the power to filter through the chatter and emotions in order to throw out what doesn’t serve me and determine what I desire to let into my life.

Below are some tips around various ways you can consider incorporating gratitudes and affirmations into your daily practice.  

Perhaps your skeptical about whether this exercise may not hold much value or is worth your time. I appreciate you probably aren’t looking for another thing to add to your busy schedule and “to-do” list.  But I encourage you to give it a go. Try it out for a week and see how this practice serves you. In my experience, this small act, repeated on a day to day basis, has had the power to transform my mind and outlook on life.  I expect you will also find that as you choose to focus on gratitude and affirm yourself in your thoughts and your self-talk, optimism will flourish in your life, and you will experience so much more joy and peace than ever before.

8 Tips for Cultivating More Gratitude in Your Life:

  1. Greet each morning with a “thank you.”  I like starting my day with a grateful affirmative statement such as: “Thank you for the gift of this day.  May I remember that everything that happens today is for me, not against me. May I live today as though it’s the first day of my life, as well as my last. May my eyes be open to the wonders that await me and my ears attuned to Your voice.”
  2. Consider starting a journal.  I’ve found writing down my gratitudes and affirmations brings more power to each item.  It’s also really fun to look back and reminisce about the various items you’ve listed (I love to date my list so I have context and can refer back and see how things have manifested in my life).  Listing out your gratitudes in a journal also helps provide inspiration for those days wherein you’re finding it difficult to “feel” grateful.
  3. Enlist a “gratitude partner.”  Each day, share your gratitudes with your friend or family member.  Sharing gratitudes with one another is not only great for accountability, but it also fosters closer relationships!
  4. Reflect on your day over dinner and take turns sharing your “gratefuls” with your dinner partner(s).
  5. Make post-it notes of gratitudes and post them in high-traffic areas.  Leaving notes of gratitude on my mirror was really helpful for me to start incorporating gratitudes more consistently.  Now, whenever I see a mirror or catch my reflection in a window or reflective surface, my mind has been conditioned to quietly lift up a prayer of gratitude.
  6. Enlist your inner-child and have fun with chalk markers (or old lipsticks).  I love writing gratitudes and affirmations all over my bedroom floor-length mirrors.  For some of you, this may stress you out to have a marked-up mirror (my Mom being one who prefers order and cleanliness would probably not enjoy this practice, haha – love you, Mom!!).  However, if you’re okay with a little “controlled chaos” – consider marking up your mirrors with these nuggets of positivity. I simply love it. And I’ve found over the years – my mind has been trained to focus on the gratitudes and affirmations, rather than use the mirrors to be critical of the reflection staring back at me.
  7. Write “thank you” notes to others. Send a text to your best friend letting him/her know how much you appreciate him/her. Take the time to write some “snail mail” to your Mom, Dad, sibling, or other family member. Shoot a text to your co-worker thanking them for helping you out on that one project. Leave behind a message of “thank-you” (and perhaps a more generous tip than is standard) to your waitress or other individual providing you with a service. Get creative, extend beyond your closest circle of family and friends.  There are so many people who would benefit from those two little words – “thank you.”
  8. Practice random acts of kindness. Pay for the bag of chips and soda you notice the person behind you has at the checkout counter at the grocery store. Write a note of encouragement and give it to someone you see on the street who appears could use some uplifting words.  Stop to learn the name of the homeless man on the corner and offer to buy him some lunch. Grab a garbage bag and pick up trash on your walk outside with the dog. If you notice yourself admiring something about another individual (e.g., her smile, her infections laughter, her beautiful red pop of lipstick, etc.) – tell her!  There are so many ways you can “pay it forward.” Have fun with it and perhaps join in with some friends or family to do some random acts of kindness as a unit.

Gratitude and affirmation work is immensely powerful.  

I believe you will find the positive energy will not be satisfied with remaining confined to your morning routine, and will eventually work its way into various areas and aspects of your life.  It’s transformative and brings meaning and so much happiness to each day.

Be grateful, friends!!  There is so much to be grateful for!

You Might Also Like...

No Comments

    Leave a Reply