How do you practice gratitude?
When I was in the US, I took a class on Cultivating Core Strengths, Resilience and Optimism. One of our projects is to identify our core strengths and find out how we can use these in new ways, with greater frequency and awareness. My top strength (at that time) was Gratitude. Ever since that class, I have been more intentional in experiencing and embodying gratitude in my life by trying out different gratitude practices.
Being more intentional with my gratitude practices allowed me to connect, be in awe, and be in love with my life and with Life! It’s now easier for me to get out of my funk and rise above my “down moments”. And I’ve been prone to smiling at random times throughout the day for no reason at all, other than feeling a rush of gratitude flow within me.
Whenever I feel this immense love and appreciation for Life, I wish that I could share this experience to every single person on this planet. While words cannot fully capture these feelings, I thought that the next best thing is to share with you these 10 gratitude practices, so that you can try it out yourself.
May doing these gratitude practices elevate your life and your experience with Life!
1. Write What You’re Thankful For
There is power in writing things down. Whenever we write what we are thankful for, we not only acknowledge them, we also imprint them on our minds and immortalize them on our paper. Dedicate a notebook to use as your gratitude journal; get a jar and fill it up with a gratitude list each day; or get a board and pin your gratitude notes on it…and voila!
Whenever you find yourself feeling down and low, just read your gratitude journal, pick a paper or two from your gratitude jar, or look at your gratitude wall. I’m positive that you’ll feel uplifted and encouraged because you’ll be reminded of how truly blessed you are!
2. Say Out Loud What You’re Thankful for
If you think that writing is powerful, wait til you add to your practice saying what you’re thankful for, out loud! Have you noticed how different it is to think about something versus speaking about something and hearing it for yourself?
Speaking and listening use different parts of our brains and so, we engage our brains more. When you add writing to the mix, which also targets a different part of our brains, oh dear! Just these two practices raise our brain power to imbibe more gratitude in our lives!
3. Feel the Feelings of Gratitude
You’ve now engaged your mind, why not engage your heart as well? Let’s add feeling the feelings of gratitude to the mix! Here’s a common pitfall that most of us face in the practice of writing down and saying our gratitude and affirmations…We do the act, but we don’t really feel it in the deepest parts of our cores. Rather, it just becomes another chore that we have to cross off our list of to-dos for the day.
Don’t fall into the same pit! Allow yourself to spend a minute or two, just breathing in gratitude. Smile as you remember what you’re thankful for. Feel your heart expand as you write and speak. Hey, I won’t even judge if you cry for the downpour of gratitude filling up your Spirit!
4. Give Appreciation to Others Freely and Genuinely
How often do you thank and appreciate others? Do you freely give your compliments and affirmations to people who have helped you and added value to you in some way? And when you do give your thanks, do you give it like an afterthought, mechanically even? Or do you look at the other person in the eye, smile, and genuinely appreciate them?
I invite you to add this practice to your days. In fact, I challenge you to appreciate someone you don’t know but have added value to you in some way. Thank the cashier who took your order, the person at the toll, the guard who opened the door for you, the driver who took you safely at your destination…Who knows? Your genuine appreciation might make their day and they, in turn, will feel inspired to pay it forward as well!
5. Give Thanks When Paying for Something
Let’s be honest here. Paying our bills is an activity that we’re not very fond of. In fact, for some of us, we get anxious and stressed whenever bill payment due dates are coming near. It’s no fun trying to budget our income to make sure that all bills will be paid on time, while still having enough money to spend for our daily needs.
But, what if we look at it a different way? What if instead of feeling stressed, we feel grateful because we have the money to pay for our bills? What if we bless the different companies, establishments, and people we have to pay? Imagine how the money we are circulating back to the Universe will be able to bless others as well. What if we choose to see how abundant we are right now because we are able to enjoy the things we are paying for? Are not these something to be thankful for?
6. Find Something to be Thankful for in Times of Difficulty
It might be difficult to realize this when you are in the thick of difficulty, but there is always something to be thankful for. I truly believe that everything that we experience — especially the challenges, problems, and pains — bring us a sacred gift. These times are meant to strengthen us, equip us, and prepare us for whatever amazing mission Life has in store for us.
Try to reflect on the most difficult, darkest times of your life. How did going through these tough times shape you into becoming the person that you are now? Where has it led you? Who have you become? What gifts and lessons did you receive? If you can’t find any, dig a little deeper. You’ll find the answers soon enough…Or, time will surely tell. For the time being though, I invite you to be grateful for the journey of becoming.
7. Express Gratitude through Acts of Love and Service
Action speaks louder than words, they say. So go deeper into your practice of gratitude by finding ways to actively express your thanks to others. This is especially helpful when the person your thanking has a love language of acts of service.
When you do your act of service, be sure to imagine yourself showering them with your love and appreciation. Just visualize them in front of you. As you do your act of service, imagine a white light coming from your heart center engulfing the person you’re thanking. This white light is filled with your love and appreciation and you’re energetically giving these to that person. This may sound woo-woo, but try it out first and see how it will land for you.
8. Thank Yourself
Time for truth! When was the last time that you genuinely thank yourself? When was the last time that you appreciated yourself for simply being you? Do you thank yourself for doing the best that you can, each day, every day? And when you do thank yourself, do you receive it fully?
We get caught up with living our lives, attending to the demands of others, meeting deadlines, and going from one activity to another…we forget to pause, acknowledge the things we’ve already accomplished, and thank ourselves for doing the best we can. We dismiss how we’ve been showing up in our lives and fail to appreciate how amazing we are for waking up each day to face whatever Life brings us. This has to stop now! Start thanking yourself for every little and big thing that you do. Start thanking yourself for being the beautiful shining soul that you truly are!
9. Be Grateful for What You Have Now
Our brains are wired to focus on the negative. It’s for our safety and protection, you see. This is extremely helpful in the times of old because it ensured our survival. However, what had saved our ancestors before is causing us our downfall nowadays. I’m not saying that there is no benefit at looking at the negative nowadays, because there is.
BUT, we have to rewire our brain to focus on the positive, instead of the negative. How? By acknowledging and being grateful for what we do have now, instead of what’s lacking in our lives. Doing this practice everyday will also allow us to be in a state of abundance. We’ll realize that we already have everything that we need to be truly happy, be at peace, and in love with Life!
10. Be Grateful for What You Want to Manifest in Your Life
Gratitude is a high vibrating state. If we are vibrating on this high frequency of gratitude, the more we will attract and manifest more things to be thankful for. That’s one of the laws of this Universe. Of course, we do have to temper this with non-attachment to a specific outcome.
We have to trust that Life is going to give us the best possible outcome, for our highest good and the highest good of all. It’s a delicate dance of boldly declaring our intentions, being grateful for these as if they have already manifested in our lives, and surrendering the outcome to the Divine.
- Of the 10 practices I’ve shared here, which practice would you like to incorporate into your daily life right now?
- What is ONE concrete action step you are committing to do in the next seven days to bring more gratitude in your life?
- For extra accountability, share your answers in the comment or send me a message!
Peace, Love, and Light!
p.s. After writing this post, I got curious if there’s any change in the ranking of my strengths. There is! But interestingly enough, Gratitude remains to be my greatest strength! *wink*wink*
p.p.s. Would you like to receive more love bombs in your inbox? Join my VIP List here!
p.p.p.s. Want more ways to elevate your life? Grab a copy of my book, Thank Goodness I Got Lost!, where I shared with you my journey of self-discovery and personal growth. (Physical book is shipped within the Philippines only.)