5 Practical Ways You Can Practise Gratitude
It may feel counter-intuitive, but the best time to practise gratitude is when you’re going through something tough.
Right now, we’re living in a pretty constant state of the unknown, which can take a toll on our daily energy, motivation and mental health.
One of the biggest drivers of positive mental health is to feel grateful for the things that you have, which is especially difficult when you’re not totally loving your current environment.
If you’re not used to practising meditation and gratitude, it’s definitely helpful to have some guidance. We’ve started practising meditation as a team here at POPSUGAR Australia every Friday morning with the incredible teachers at BodyMindLife, and it’s really helping us to stay grounded, motivated and creative.
BodyMindLife Online has an amazing range of online resources, including yoga, pilates, meditation and much more, for people of any age and ability.
If you’re keen to give it a go, then you’re in luck because BodyMindLife Online are offering POPSUGAR readers (that’s you!) a discount code that gives you access to a 7-day free trial + 30% off first-month membership. The code is KATROBW7 and can be used straight away.
If you don’t want to commit to guided practices, that’s okay, too. There are ways you can practise gratitude in your everyday life, without having to learn anything new.
Start small, be where you’re at
A gratitude practice is awesome for lots of reasons but making it a habit can sometimes be the hardest part. Take any pressure off yourself to try and instead, change your mindset in a single day by focussing on one tiny thing that you appreciate between waking and snuggling down to sleep at night. It can be even the simplest thing you feel gratitude for. Know it is the practice of being fully present and authentic in your appreciation, rather than the frequency or complexity of that, which you are grateful for that will keep expanding your practice.
Lose the comparisons
Comparing yourself to others is an easy hole to fall into but making comparisons can really trip us up when mastering a gratitude practice. The wisdom goes that when we feel thankful for what we already have, abundance blooms. Gratitude is a practice that focuses on helping us see our strengths and how and what we value about ourselves. When we are able to see the value in ourselves, we set the bar for how others value us too, leaving zero space for any comparison game.
Spending a few moments of each day focussing on things we are grateful for helps us to recognise the richness of our lives and this abundance deserves to be shared. You might resonate with keeping a daily gratitude journal, chatting with your friends about what you feel appreciation for or creating your own simple gratitude mantra. Whatever way you choose to express your gratitude, make it a regular, intentional action even on the days it feels the hardest — when expressing gratitude is even more important.
Seek the silver lining
Not every day feels shiny. If a situation or experience in your life clouds your practice, and it’s challenging to find the gratitude, look out for any lesson or message you might be able to glean from what’s going on and perhaps you can feel thankful for the learning gained instead. If it feels too raw in the moment to find that appreciation, be grateful for the kindness you show yourself in recognising that it’s not always easy.
Share the love
Practising gratitude gives you the chance to appreciate and acknowledge all you have done, all that you have and all that you are. Share the abundance by doing something for someone else. It might be as simple as a smile to a stranger on the street. Not only will it brighten your day, highlighting your time, talent, abilities and whatever else you have to offer the world, it will undoubtedly brighten and inspire another, creating a cycle of gratitude give and receive. That is something to be grateful for.