Peace settles around me like a blanket and I feel secure.
Love swirls around me like a hearth's glow and I feel safe.
Joy envelops me like a hug and I feel grateful.
Oh! I get to be grateful. I let the swell of gratitude in my heart grow inside, and it strengthens my bond with my best self.
How can gratitude become a part of our daily lives? And, why should it?
One surefire way to reap the benefits is to practice conscious gratitude.
Begin (or continue) a Gratitude Journal! •
Designate a journal, stack of paper, sketchbook, etc. as your Gratitude Journal.
At the end of each day, take a breath, settle in, and jot down a few things that come to mind -- things to be grateful for:
Occurrences that made your heart swell a little... Or a lot. This small practice is extremely powerful.
Get specific with your thankfulness. Instead of "my home," list a specific room or attribute. Instead of "my partner," what one special thing are you grateful for today?
Here are some things I am grateful for in this very moment:
the way my daughter hugged her new squishmallow toy in her sleep
a massage I received this morning wherein the therapist used a hot stone on that area where my spine meets the base of my skull
the fleece zipup I’m wearing that I’ve permanently borrowed from my teen. It makes me think of her when I wear it (which is all the time)
Google Maps, and the way I can find directions, phone numbers, reviews, and more, in one simple app right on my phone
the way a driver paused to let me make a left-hand turn in front of him on a busy corner. The way we waved and smiled at each other as I turned
my travel-sized pink Neutrogena face scrub that reminds me of using it as a teenager
the posts my friends send me via Instagram each day (whether silly, touching, or bizarre) that reconfirm why we’re friends
the way my husband loves playing Wordle every morning and is very serious about his competitive status
the song “Karma” by Taylor Swift and how its lyrics are always in my head these days (I’m sure this gratefulness will change in time!)
Once we can begin to identify the things - the current, present, real and immediate things in this moment for which we are grateful, our gratitude can start to manifest more things for which to be grateful. It’s science. Or if it’s technically not science, it’s comforting, and - through the use of a gratitude journal - traceable. Gratitude begets gratitude.
Give it a try. Allow yourself to conjure one, two, or three things that you are grateful for on this day. It could be profound and life-changing (amazing!), or it could be the way your dog snuggles up to you at night (which, let’s be honest, is pretty profound.)
"I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude." - Brene Brown
Have you been practicing gratitude? How do you keep track or notice? I’d love to know.