Count your blessings. There is magic in it!
We can’t focus on what’s good about our lives and feel bad. We just can’t. Not if we’re really appreciating what’s good.
Here’s the magic of gratitude. Whatever we vibrate, the Universe responds to. So not only do we feel better in the moment, we are also creating a happier future, with more things to be grateful for in it! Our feelings in this very moment are the most powerful tool for creating our tomorrow.
Creating a daily gratitude practice is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I believe so strongly in it, I want to share some ideas to get you started (or restarted).
Gratitude practice takes only minutes a day
Feeling gratitude doesn’t require expensive equipment. You don’t need to read tons of books about it. Or sit on a mountain top at the feet of a guru. And it doesn’t require hours of sweat, concentration and effort.
Quite the contrary.
Only a few minutes a day devoted to a simple practice can get you powerful results. And, once you get into it (which doesn’t take long), it feels really good!
What’s the best gratitude practice? The one that works for you. Experiment until you find what that is. Here are some possibilities:
- Write down 10 things you’re grateful for every night before you go to sleep. Really let yourself feel gratitude, appreciation and positive emotion.
- Find a gratitude partner. Make a daily date to share 10 things you are grateful for with each other. A 5-minute phone call or email is all it takes!
- Start your day by writing out 10 things you’re grateful for. Or say them to yourself in the mirror. You’ll start vibrating a nicer day for yourself!
- Sing and dance your gratitude! Sing to your pet or spouse (or yourself in the mirror) about how grateful you are that they are there. The sillier the better!
- Do your practice at the same time every day. Whether you’re at home, in line at the store or driving in traffic, speak your appreciation, silently or out loud.
“But what if I don’t feel grateful?”
I don’t always feel gratitude when I start my practice. Sometimes I feel pouty or cranky or stuck in victim mode. Other times I literally cannot think of anything I am grateful for. With my awesome life, this is quite something!
In those times, I start by saying or writing, “I am grateful for….,” and then wait to see what comes. Something always does!
Sometimes all I can be grateful for in the beginning is that I’ve made it through a difficult day! But once I start, there’s always more. There are always at least 10 things I can be thankful for. And poof – like magic, really – I FEEL grateful.
The benefits are cumulative
One of the wonderful things I’ve found as I’ve had a daily gratitude practice is that, more and more, I find myself looking for what I can be grateful for during the day. I’ve developed the habit of being grateful!
The more we practice gratitude, the more grateful we get. And our lives change in wonderful ways as a result.
What my gratitude practice is like today
When I first got clean and sober 21 years ago (today is my 21st Sobriety Birthday!), my sponsor had me write down 10 things I was grateful for every night before I went to sleep. She wanted me to find different things every day.
I continued that practice for many years. 18 months ago, I started it again in a new and beautiful way. Every night, at about 9:15 p.m., my sweetheart and I tell each other at least 10 things we’re grateful for.
This is a sweet time to celebrate each other’s days and connect. But it’s much more than that. It’s a powerful way to turn our attention to what’s good in life. It’s a practice we are committed to and do, without fail, every night.
What’s your gratitude practice? (Or what’s stopping you from having one?) Please share your wisdom and questions below! Blessings!