4 Gratitude Exercises
Gratitude is a positive emotion that we all have at our disposal that can improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Being thankful for what you have has the ability to turn chaos into order, confusion into clarity, and fills you with inner peace.
Yet, while the thought of expressing your gratitude may be easy in theory, it can be challenging if you don’t know where to start.
So, to help get you inspired, we rounded up some of our favorite gratitude exercises you can start doing today. These exercise will help build a gratitude mindset for a happier, healthier you.
Take a look.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
Journaling is a highly recommended self-therapy technique. When you write down your thoughts and emotions, you access different parts of your brain, namely the regions related to positive emotions.
The act of writing down how you’re feeling, even just jotting down quick notes, helps you find clarity in life. It also gives you the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Thus, you become more resilient, more empathetic, and more forgiving of yourself and others.
Check out these gratitude prompts you can use in your journal:
- I’m grateful for these three family members:
- I’m grateful for these three friends:
- I’m grateful for these three things in my home:
- I’m grateful for these three blue things:
- I’m grateful for these three animals:
2. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Any type of meditation is a fantastic way to help you dig deep into your emotions and widen your perspective. Yet, the reason why mindfulness meditation can be used to express gratitude because it allows you to focus on the present. As such, you hone in on all the good things and wonderful people in your life and tune out any negative thoughts or emotions.
To do this, sit in a quiet corner of your home and close your eyes for a few seconds as you focus on your breathing. Then, take the next five minutes reflecting on what you see and hear around you as you visualize what’s good in your life.
3. Gratitude Jar
This exercise is pretty straightforward, but its benefits are pretty amazing!
First, find a medium-sized jar, preferably one you can see through. Decorate the jar any way you want to make it more appealing and inviting.
Place the jar on your kitchen counter where you’re sure to pass by it each day. Then, cut up slips of paper and leave them next to the jar.
Each time you think of something you’re grateful for, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.
Over time, you’ll find the jar is getting fuller and fuller, which is a great way to cultivate a gratitude mentality.
Then, whenever you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is read some of the things you’ve written down. It’ll remind you of how strong you are and all the blessings you have in your life.
4. Gratitude Affirmations or Mantras
Gratitude affirmations are a fantastic tool you can use to reframe your mindset and shift your thoughts to be more grateful. They also reduce stress and fill you with hope, optimism, and fulfillment.
Not only that, but they change the way your brain functions. For example, you’ll notice that when you have a problem at home or at work, instead of complaining and blaming the universe, you’ll automatically shift into resilient mode. You’ll find yourself focusing more on the good rather the bad, and trying to find a productive way out of your predicament.
To make the most of these affirmations, we noticed that the best way is to write them down. Then, hang them in a place where you’re sure to catch a glimpse of them each day.
Here are a few gratitude affirmations you can use:
- I’m grateful for the people I have in my life.
- I’m worthy of beautiful endings and exciting beginnings.
- I’m thankful for the things in my life that bring me comfort and joy.
- Each day, I’ll focus on taking one step toward my goal.
- I choose to be kind to myself.
- Every day is an opportunity.