Daily gratitude practice: a shortcut to happy

The number one daily ritual I’ve adopted to build my happiness.

Simply put, gratitude builds on gratitude. When you start your morning focusing on what you are thankful for, your consciousness becomes softer and you prepare your mind to be present throughout the day.

When I first began this practice, it became hard to think of a new thing to express gratitude for, which I deemed as worthy of writing in my journal. Of course, the first week or two were easy... my mom, my dad, Brian, my sisters, my job, etc. But once I ran through the list of those obvious things I was grateful for, I realized I wanted to get more specific.

So I developed this morning ritual to practice gratitude in a way that gets down to the deeper parts of my soul.

I start with thinking about one specific thing that happened in the past 24 hours that made me feel something special stir in my heart. A random call from a friend, the sun on my face, grounding feelings on my yoga mat.

Now I write down a few sentences on this. I don’t know what I will say when I start writing. I let my mind wander and see what comes out.

I prefer this method in comparison to writing down 3 things that I’m thankful for each day. The 3 a day has definitely become a popular strategy, but when I’ve tried this in the past it’s felt more like a task to check off than a practice to channel gratitude.

After writing, I close my eyes and let my emotions take the wheel. I start to bring to mind exactly how this experience made me feel, and I sit with those feelings for a few minutes.

I take a deep breath in and and long breath out with a smile and a full heart.

Of course, this isn’t to say that I am only aiming to express gratitude for one thing a day. Now that I’ve been doing this practice for awhile, more and more times a day I find myself really grateful and fully aware of how wonderful the little things in life can be.

Try this out and let me know if it works for you! Anything special come to mind that you weren’t expecting? Share your thoughts & experiences below!