Practicing gratitude first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to start your day and get in the right mindset. It can support you in feeling more positive emotions, bask in good experiences, and build stronger relationships. There is truly no downside to gratitude journaling.
Researchers have found that people who write about gratitude are more optimistic and feel better about their lives in general.
My wife and I have a pretty extensive sequence of morning rituals that we try to stick to everyday at some capacity; and even if I don’t do the other practices in a morning, I will always try to get my gratitude journaling in.
It doesn’t have to be extensive. A little bit of gratitude is better than none at all.
It’s easy to wake up and immediately jump into thinking about the days to-do list, or struggling to shake off a bad dream from the night. Taking 5 minutes of your morning before starting your day will help bring you back to center and set you up for a more positive day.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Have a designated journal or notebook and date your lists.
Create a list — anywhere from 3 to 10 things — each morning of things you are grateful for.
These things you’re grateful for can be ANYTHING you feel gratitude towards. It can be something small or more grande; it’s what matters to you.
I am grateful for my dogs health.
I am grateful for the sun shining through the trees in the morning.
I am grateful for my ability to run.
I am grateful for freedom of time.
I am grateful for my breath.
The key is to really FEEL into each thing you are grateful for. Drop from your head to your heart and feel into the experience of gratitude you physically and energetically have when writing each line. Embodiment is truly the key to this exercise.
Embodying gratitude allows us to live into it deeper and project it out into our environment. When we embody & express gratitude, that will reflect back to us in beautiful and seemingly miraculous ways. A few points to consider when writing your list to help you embody:
Where in my body do I physically feel this gratitude? Ex. Heart? Throat? Stomach? Third Eye? Hands?
What does it feel like? Ex. Tingling? Fluttering? Warm? Open?
What emotions does this specific thing bring out in me? Ex. Joy? Security? Childlike wonder? Playfulness? Safety? Freedom? Abundance?
There is power in putting a good old pen to paper. It’s easy to whip out your phone, but the act of physically writing your gratitude list out will help you drop into your body, process the information better, and help you remember it longer.
Gratitude is also the key to manifestation. So when we take time out to express gratitude towards all that we have, we create space for more abundance to come in.
Never underestimate the power of a little gratitude. When practiced consistently, it may just change your life.
I know it did for me.