Happiness Habits – Day 4: Start Your Day With Gratefulness
Let’s talk about Gratefulness. Gratefulness or gratitude is all about acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives. You can set the positive tone of your entire day by thinking about all the things you have to be grateful for. Practicing gratefulness makes you focus on all the good and pleasant things in your life and that, in turn, improves your overall happiness.
So spending a few minutes first thing in the morning thinking about what you are grateful for can improve your mood and your feeling of being happy for the entire day. That’s something well worth perusing and you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it.
Create a Morning Gratitude Ritual
As you are waking up, or while you’re sitting at your kitchen table sipping your first cup of coffee, tea or other favorite beverage, think about all the things and people you are thankful for. Focus your mind on anything positive that happened the day before, or that you anticipate happening today. You can be grateful for the smallest of things.
I usually wake up grateful that I have a warm and comfortable bed to sleep in, for my spouse, my animals, and of course I’m always grateful for my breakfast that helps me wake up and get ready for my busy day. Think about the people in your life that you are grateful for including your parents, grandparents, spouse or significant other, children, friends, colleagues, a boss that gives you a job. Try to find something good about all important people in your life.
Another option is to just look around you. Look at the room you’re in, or the trees and birds that you can see outside your window. No matter what your living situation is right now, I’m sure you can think of things about it you are grateful for, even if it isn’t your ideal living space.
A Personal Story: the Power of Gratitude
When I was really down and in desperate straits, homeless and jobless, and about $40 left in my pocket, I practiced gratitude for oxygen and water. In less than two weeks, I had a place to live, and a short-term grant to spend on food and other supplies. It’s all been forward momentum from there! So, no matter what, you can be grateful for something, and gratitude can make powerful changes in your life.
Make this exercise part of your morning ritual. Focusing on it, and practicing it at roughly the same time and place each morning, will help you form a habit. And that’s the goal for the long run. You want to be able to practice being grateful effortlessly and without having to think about it. Getting to that point alone will have a huge impact on how happy and content you feel from here on out. Start another section in your journal for your Gratitudes.
Give it a try for a few weeks and take note of how your mental outlook changes by simply adding this little exercise of gratitude in the mornings. Before long, you will do it automatically and look forward to every opportunity to acknowledge all the good things in your life.
PS: Don’t limit gratitude to just the morning. Do what it takes it a habit to get your day started, and feel free to be grateful at other times during the day. Remember that it’s not about being perfect, just happy!
To get and give support and encouragement from total strangers (also sometimes called “accountability”), get access to our awesome Happiness Habits 2016 Challenge Facebook group here. It’s a private group, so you can only access it if you’re on the email list.
To get a reminder prompt from me via email to make sure you don’t miss a post, sign up for the 30 Day Happiness Challenge here: