I don’t know about you, but when I start my day giving thanks for the things in it, and then continuing to be grateful throughout my day, everything just falls into place.
It’s not always an easy practice though. Especially on those days I wake up feeling tired and bleh. But, if I’m able to muster up the energy, okay, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take that much energy to be grateful, to start my day with joy and gratitude, I feel so much better. And, that day feeds into the next and it’s a snowball effect!
Here are a few tips I use to get my days started on that positive note!
7 Ways to Practice Gratitude in the Morning
Visualize Your Day
I have a really bad habit of immediately grabbing my phone in the morning, checking the Nest cam to see what Owen is up to and then scrolling Instagram or checking my email. I’ve only been awake for about 5 minutes at this point and I’m already starting to get stressed about all the things I need to do that day, or getting worked up about an email I got.
I’m by no means perfect at this, but I’ve been trying to start my day on a more positive, less hectic note. Instead of looking at my phone and stressing from the get go, I close my eyes and visualize my day going exactly as I want to. Down to my morning with Owen, making my breakfast, being productive and going for a walk or workout. I try to feel the feeling that I will feel when my day goes perfectly as well.
Before I step out of bed, I’ve already visualized my whole day going smoothly and it makes me so excited to get up because I’m already grateful for the amazing day ahead of me!
When you step out of bed, put one foot on the ground and say “thank” and the second foot, “you”. You don’t have to say it out loud, but recite it in your head as you walk to the bathroom and get ready. You can expand on it if you want or not, but either way, it puts you into the mindset of gratitude first thing in the morning.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to actively give thanks for all the things around you. It doesn’t have to be a long complicated journal where you write down everything that happened in your day. It can be a simple as bullet points. Start out by writing down three things you’re grateful for each day.
I’ve found that the more I practice this, the easier it becomes to find more things that I’m grateful for. This practice takes the focus off of the things you don’t have, and focuses on what you do have. Suddenly, your life feels far more abundant than you once thought, and those abundant thoughts only bring more abundance into your life.
Have you tried meditation before? It’s such an amazing and calming practice to quiet the mind, while you focus on the breathe. What’s really awesome about meditation is that you only need about 3 minutes of it to get the benefits! I think we can all agree that we have at least 3 minutes that we could set aside to focus on ourselves.
For years now, I’ve really wanted to make meditation a daily practice, but I still struggle with it. Mostly because every day looks different (some days I’m with Owen, some days I’m not). It’s made it hard for me to find a routine around that I can stick to, but even the sporadic meditation is so beneficial for me.
I use the Headspace app when I want a guided meditation, or I just sit quietly on the floor and work on clearing my mind and focusing on my breathe to help calm me. It’s always such a reinvigorating time that reminds me that life doesn’t have to be has hectic as I often make it.
Spend Time Outdoors
Last year I read something that talked about how powerful it is for us to spend time outdoors. It also talked about the grounding effects of being barefoot in nature and how connecting our bare skin with the earth is very grounding.
Just think about the last time you were outside barefoot. If you live in the city like me, it might not be that often. For me, it was when we were at the beach. Being barefoot on the sand, feeling it beneath my toes and then feeling the tide wash up and cool them. I left feeling so calmed, centered and grounded after being able to connect with the earth.
While we’re in the city and the weather is nice, we make it a point to spend a lot of time outdoors and when we are at home, the windows are often open or we’re out on our patio!
Notice Something New
It’s so easy for us to get stuck in our routines. We get ready in the morning, grab breakfast, head out he door, stare at our phones while we ride the bus or train to work, walk to the office while listening to our favorite podcasts, you get there and hardly remember anything from your stroll over.
Make it a point to look up and all around you and notice something new. It’s such a simple practice. But it makes you so much more aware of what’s happening around you and grateful for beauty that you hadn’t discovered yet. Maybe it’s witnessing someone helping and old woman across the street, or discovering the beautiful architecture on a building you hadn’t really noticed before.
Finding those little moments and giving gratitude for them can do wonders for your mood.
Focus on the Good
If you don’t enjoy your job, or you’re in a phase of life you’d rather not be in, it’s so much easier to focus on the stuff you hate. To commiserate and complain to others, to feel like the world is out to get you.
But, here’s the cold hard truth. The more you focus on the bad, the stuff you hate and feel those feelings on the regular, the more of it you’re going to get.
When you change your tune and focus on the good, and give thanks for it, and start feeling good about those things, you will attract more of the good, positive things into your life. Try it for a few days. It might be tough! If you find yourself stuck feeling bad, have a few thoughts that you know will make you happy that you can focus on to change your mood.
For me, I think about Owen!
It’s impossible for me to feel bad when I visualize his smiling face. Have yours on hand for when you get in a funk!
When we find ourselves in a spot where we just feel bleh, it can be hard to pull ourselves out. Believe me… I know! But, I’ve seen how powerful the effects of gratitude really are in my own life.
It’s not just writing them down or saying them in your head either, it’s feeling good that you have those things in your life. When you start feeling the feelings of gratitude, things really start to shift and go your way.
It’s definitely a practice and if you need reminders, make a note to yourself and stick it in your bathroom. Make the background of your phone a cool reminder or an image of that thing that gets you unstuck!
I hope this helps you get more gratitude and happiness into your life!