“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”– Brene Brown
One of the keys to living a happy life is cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
This has never been truer than now as we approach Thanksgiving and are able to gather with the family members and friends that we missed seeing last year. We have so much to be grateful for after this last 18 months of disruption.
To honor this season of gratitude, I’m sharing two of my favorite gratitude practices which have made a positive difference for both my clients and me.
- The Gratitude Journal
The gratitude journal allows you to develop a consistent practice of focusing on the good things in your life.
This practice is especially powerful when you’re in the midst of a life or career transition. By taking time to ground yourself by finding something – no matter how small – to be grateful for, you’ll shift from a stressed, depressed or angry state to one that is calmer, hopeful, and peaceful. Moreover, by focusing on the positive, you activate the law of attraction which will result in more opportunities and resources flowing into your life.
Start your gratitude journal in a visually appealing notebook and get into the habit of writing down everything you’re grateful for at the beginning or at the end of each day. When you have days when it’s hard to identify something to be grateful for, express your gratitude anyway – even if it’s for the smallest simplest thing. As time goes on, you’ll notice that your list will get longer and you’ll begin to feel more grounded and peaceful.
- Gratitude in the Moment
You can use the power of gratitude anytime and anywhere to shift your energy. I developed this practice one rainy day when I was caught in a traffic jam on the way to an important meeting. As I started to stress about being late, my inner wisdom teacher challenged me to list 10 things to be grateful for at that moment.
I took three deep breaths and started my list. I gave thanks for my car, a full tank of gas, the ability to drive a car, the opportunity presented by this meeting, the fact that it was only rain – not snow and ice – that was snarling traffic. I expressed gratitude for the navigation system that provided directions to my destination. As I focused on looking for the good in the situation, I became a lot calmer and showed up at the meeting in a great mood and only five minutes late!
Following this practice of Gratitude in the Moment is a powerful way of shifting your energy in any situation so that you show up in life as calm, joyful, and competent.