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The definition of gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. We hear this word a lot, we see the hashtag – #grateful, but what’s really going on?

In a nutshell, practicing gratitude promotes well-being. New research suggests it actually changes your brain. It kicks off a healthy cycle in your brain, where the more good you set out to see, the easier it is to notice, leading to increased happiness and less stress.

Cultivating gratitude is an effective way to change the way you feel, change your perspective and raise your vibration.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

William Arthur Ward

Practicing gratitude is powerful and we probably all need it now more than ever. Every day stress and anxiety is compounded today by a global pandemic, we really don’t need any more reasons to get started on cultivating gratitude. It’s a daily practice, done several times a day if you can. Here’s how you can get started:

The Gratitude Jar

What you’ll need:

1 glass jar and colorful small paper notes

What to do:
-Every evening, on a small piece of paper write the good moments of the day.

Example: A phone call from a friend, a nice coffee, the smile of a stranger.

Remember:
-Take a moment and go over your whole day and pay attention to the smallest details … not only the big events…
-Put one event per paper
-Add the date

And there you have it. The day you’re feeling a little down, or even at regular intervals throughout the year (once, twice a year, etc.) reach into the jar and read a few notes, it will remind you of all the magical moments in your life.

The Gratitude Journal

This is a journal strictly reserved for what you are grateful for. Every day , before you start your day, in a positive form and in the present tense, write what you are grateful for.

I like to start it like this:
I am so grateful to [if you wish, here you can invoke the Higher power you believe in, it magnifies the gratitude so for me it’s God] for [here say what you are grateful for] because [here give the reason]. Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!

It would go something like this:
I am so grateful to God for the sunshine today, because it gives me energy and makes me happy. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Remember:
-Everything is reason to be grateful for: your body, your coffee, your friends, your health, someone who was kind to you, someone you helped.
-You can even be grateful for something you wish to have… trick is to write your gratitude in the present tense as if you already have it!
-Every day list at least 5 things you are grateful for.
-Sometimes you can repeat things that were on a previous list, just feel it.
-Once you write your list, take a moment and read it again infusing it with all your feelings of gratitude. It sometimes is a little difficult when we are having a hard time, but the more we do it, the stronger the feeling grows. It’s a matter of practice.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude..”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Start Cultivating Gratitude Today

The two strategies outlined above are so simple yet so effective. I implore you to give it a try, then let me know what changes you see in yourself.

Join me and my co-host Gabriela Nitu for our Coffee & Conversation virtual group sessions every Friday from 8 to 9 am to have an open and judgement-free discussion on our new realities and learn more tips and tricks to achieve wellness. To register for a Coffee & Conversation session, click here.

Additional reading on gratitude: The Cure for Impatience: Gratitude