3 Steps to Increased Gratitude

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US. It’s a day where we reflect on the blessings in our lives, and take time to pause and relax from our usually packed schedules.

My family went to my parents’ house for dinner for Thanksgiving. There they had a small wooden tree set up with paper leaves to write what we are most thankful for on. After everyone had written on a leaf and placed it on the tree, we read what everyone had written.

You know what the most common blessings were? Family. Health. Each other.

gratitude1

So often, we take each other and all that we do have for granted, and get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life. Of appointments. Of to-do lists and errands. We start to take our blessings for granted.

What can we do to focus on our blessings more on a daily basis?

The answer I think, lies in gratitude. By practicing gratitude daily, we begin to see more of the positive in our lives and dwell less on the negatives. But how can we make a sustained effort to have more gratitude in our culture where we are “keeping up with the Joneses”?

3 things that have worked well for me are:

  1. A gratitude journal- Each night just before bed I write down my top 3 blessings of the day. Every day there are so many things we can be grateful for, even on a day that has not gone our way. By focusing on our blessings just before bed, we put our brain in gratitude mode, where it focuses on what was good in our lives while we sleep.
  2. 5 minute meditation/quiet time in the morning- So, I have 3 small kids. I get up when they do {sometimes at 5am!} so I do not advocate getting up before the kids unless you have late sleepers. But, for me, I can take a couple minutes while I am making my coffee in the morning and make an effort to think about the positive things that are going to happen in the day. It’s kinda like willing positivity into the day. By picturing the way the day will happen in a positive manner, you are telling the Universe or God whomever you believe is in charge how you want the day to go, and the Universe will respond and find ways to keep your day similar to the way you envisioned it.
  3. Taking a little time for me a couple times a week- It’s hard to feel gratitude when you are feeling empty and overwhelmed. This can happen if you are a Mom like me with littles, or have a corporate job with it’s inherent stressors, or you simply have a lot on your plate. For me, me time can be as simple as taking a shower alone with some epsom salts and essential oils, or listening to a podcast, or watching a funny movie. Whatever it is that refills your tank, it’s important to take time to do it so you are not running on empty emotionally.

So here’s my challenge for you. Tonight before bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for and start changing your mind towards gratitude.


3 thoughts on “3 Steps to Increased Gratitude

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s