How to practice gratitude

May 16, 2020 — Tuna Güleryüz
How to practice gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It is a positive state of mind when we thankfully appreciate what we have. It is scientifically proven that gratitude makes us not only happier but also healthier.

So how can we practice gratitude?

One of the most effective ways of developing a regular gratitude practice is to create a daily gratitude list.

Each day, take 5-10 minutes and list the 5 things you’re grateful for. You can write just a couple of words or some long sentences if you like. The content of what you write and the way you express yourself does not matter as long as you are mindful when you’re writing it. If you intentionally pay attention, you’ll feel the benefits even more.

You can add it to your daily routine, and either start or finish your day by listing those 5 things that make your life better. Within just a week, you will feel the difference in your outlook. Over time, being grateful will become a normal part of your day-to-day life and the benefits will become more and more clear.

Find which method works best for you

No special format is needed for a gratitude list. You may write it down in your journal, write a note on your phone or use one of the many free apps. You may also prefer sending your gratitude lists as messages to your most trusted and loved ones if you like. In this way, you can start a gratitude circle.

If writing is not for you, you could meditate on 5 things you’re grateful to have every day. You could also make a list in your mind at the end of your daily meditation sessions by visualizing your list.

Can’t come up with anything to be grateful for?

The reason it doesn’t come naturally to us is our adaptation. Although it's a vital part of our evolution, we adapt to even the most wonderful things and take them for granted.

We can reverse it with a simple practice called negative visualization. Take a look around and try to imagine how different your life would be if you didn’t have the things or the people you love. You don’t have to think about extreme negative situations. Just think about how your day would be different without them and recognize their positive impact on your life.

Practicing gratitude transforms your outlook upon life in overwhelming ways. Within just a couple of days, you will feel that noticing the good things will get easier. And over time, you will know in your heart that life is beautiful, no matter what happens.

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