Practising gratitude regularly is a fantastic way of training our minds and our emotions. Research has proven it improves physical and psychological health, improves sleep and boosts self-esteem.
Start a gratitude journal
The easiest way to get in the habit of practising gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. You can use a notepad and pen, your laptop, notes in your phone or try downloading a gratitude app.
Choose a time of day each day to practice. Many people find it easiest just before they go to bed but pick a time that works for you. Try and set yourself a daily reminder so you don’t forget.
At your specified time, think back over the day and think of three things that you are grateful for. You may have had a fantastic day and received a promotion or just bought a new house – easy peasy! Or you may have had an average day – perhaps you met up with a friend for coffee and had a good chat, or had a phone call from a family member which reminded you they care. If you had a pretty terrible day you may struggle to find something to be grateful for. Think of all the things you have that others would be grateful for – running water, a roof over your head, your limbs, your senses, the ability to walk – whatever it may be.
When you think of each of the three things, write them down. Once you’ve written them down, and here is the really important bit, you need to feel grateful. If, for example, you are grateful for having running water – imagine for a moment all of the people in the world who don’t have it and how much harder it would be and really allow yourself to feel the gratitude.
Practice this every day – it takes only a few minutes. As you practice more and more you will train your brain to focus on the positives and this will come more naturally. You will begin to notice when you are grateful for things – small and big – and you’ll send out a thank you to the universe and allow yourself to revel in the good feelings.
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