Here’s the second post in my 3-part series featuring surprisingly easy ways to strengthen gratitude.
Variety is good for enlivening our gratitude practice by keeping it from becoming rote.
Savoring an Everyday Moment
I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot, how it’s linked to joy, resilience and well-being. And how it’s so easy for gratitude to get lost in the everyday routines of our lives. The familiarity of our routines causes us to lose sight of the miracle of our lives.
One easy and accessible way to strengthen gratitude is to intentionally focus on everyday moments; to slow down, pay close attention and identify what we are grateful for in those moments.
Choose one of your daily routines. Think about it, or write about it, in detail. Then ask yourself, “What makes this moment possible? What am I truly grateful for right now?”
I gave myself 12 minutes to write responses to those questions. I visualized each step of my morning routine, stopping to write about what I’m grateful for that related to each of those steps.
There was so much in each small piece of that routine! I filled up two pages of things and people I’m grateful for, and I ran out of time. Yet the time I had was enough. Doing this reminded me that even the most ordinary of days can be filled with gratitude. Bringing those things into awareness brought other feelings too. Joy. Hope. Connection. Inspiration.
I finished the exercise feeling better than I had when I began it.
It wasn’t that all feelings of annoyance, worry or frustration disappeared. But they kind of faded into the background, put into a different perspective by the gratitude I had uncovered.
How to Fit Gratitude Into Your Busy Day
As you can see from my example, I didn’t need a whole lot of time to move into a more grateful frame of mind, and I didn’t need to write an entire essay to get there. In fact, I could have simply focused on thinking about what I’m grateful for, or I could have spoken about those things into my voice memo app.
So, it doesn’t need to take a lot of time and you can be creative about how you fit it in.
You can set aside time especially for your gratitude practice, which is what I did. Or you can use “found time,” like the 15 minutes you’re on hold with your health insurance company, or the time you spend waiting for a friend to join you for lunch.
Sit or stand quietly. Think, write or speak. Notice the feelings that come up and the thoughts that emerge. Notice where in your body you feel gratitude, and what it feels like.
Let Me Know
How did that go for you? Leave a comment below, or comment on social media. If you do that, please include #deepgratitude to help us find your post!