Living a life of gratitudeOne of the biggest and “no cost” self-care practices you can do is living a life of gratitude. When we take time out of our day (EACH DAY – multiple times a day) to think about what we’re grateful something happens to our psyche.  I’m not talking about the polite “thank you” which many of us had instilled in our upbringing.  I’m talking about focusing on the things, people, events, etc. that you are grateful for.  This focus can be either written down, thought of or told. I promise you if you develop a practice of gratitude, you will find more joy, happiness and hope in your life.  There has been scientific studies on this exact correlation.

Here are some ways you can start a routine:

  1. Morning ritual – Every morning when you wake up, go for a walk, or maybe let the dog out (this is what I do) instead of looking at your phone take 2-3 minutes and focus on the things (or people) you are grateful for.
  2. Gratitude jar – All you need here is a mason jar and post-it notes.  At the end of each day, write what you are grateful for on a post-it note and put it in the jar. At the end of the year pull out all the notes and read them.  Life changing folks!
  3. Five Minute Journal app – As usual there’s always “an app for that” and a gratitude journal is no different. The great thing about this app is it will even send you notifications and daily affirmations.
  4. Five Minute Journal – if you want to keep it old school with writing in a journal, might I suggest this one.
  5. Social media – I know that I am always telling people to spend less time on social media. This #5 doesn’t change that.  What if instead of posting a silly meme or what you ate for the lunch, you post what you’re grateful for?  Maybe even tag the person if it’s someone that made your day.  Add hashtags like #gratitude or #grateful to help spread the joy.

I always like to share articles that I find regarding the subject matter I’m talking about.  I hope you enjoy them!

Reader’s Digest – 12 Ways to Wake Up Happier Tomorrow Morning (and Every Morning)
Philly Voice – Harvard study finds strong link between gratitude and happiness
Zen Habits – Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy