3 Ways to Add Gratitude to Your Routine

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”- Melody Beattie

Add Gratitude to Your Daily Routine

It's been scientifically proven that gratitude changes the way your brain functions - and that generally speaking, people who practice gratitude are happier.  (If you want to read up on the subject, check out the links at the end of this post.)

So how can you bring more gratitude into your life?  Practice it!  Here are 3 simple ways that you can add gratitude to your daily routine.

1.  Write it Down!

 Lots of inspiring, visionary leaders of today - from Rachel Hollis to Oprah to Gary Vaynerchuk to Jay Shetty recommend taking stock of what you're grateful for.  And some argue that the best way to process that is to write it down.  You can do this in a couple of easy ways:

- Start a gratitude journal.  It's easy - every day, you write down 3-5 (or 10!) specific things that you are grateful for.  Don't just say "my family" - really be specific.  "I'm so thankful that my husband did the dishes tonight - I was so tired and that was one less thing to worry about!" or "I'm grateful for the beautiful weather today.  Being outside in the sunshine really made me feel good."  Some experts recommend that you start and/or end the day with this practice - it will put you in a positive frame of mind at the start of your day or help you end the day in a "heart-full" way.  Get a journal to get you started here.

gratitude journals on barquegifts.com

- If journaling isn't "your thing", you can just jot down a few words that represent what you are grateful for on a piece of paper or notepad.  These Gratitude Jars take that concept and make it a beautiful keepsake to display.  Each Gratitude Jar includes 365 small cards for you to write what you are grateful for and keep in the lovely jar.  Can you imagine how fun it would be at the end of the year to empty the jar and re-read those blessings?  We LOVE this idea!

gratitude jar on barquegifts.com

2.  Come to your Senses

In a moment when you feel stressed, anxious or angry during your day, pause and take a a few deep breaths.  Close your eyes and try to focus on the present moment - using your 5 senses as a "checklist" for things to be grateful for.  What are you grateful for that you can see?  What are you grateful for that you can smell?  What are you grateful for that you can touch?  What are you grateful for that you can hear?  And what are you grateful for that you can taste?  Just taking this quick mental break can help you "reset" your mind and move forward with a more positive attitude in your day.  It's a beautiful and weird thing that you can't experience gratitude at the same time as other emotions - if you are truly sincere about it - you cannot feel stress, anxiety or anger at the same time.

3. Sleep on It

Have you seen the classic movie White Christmas?  One of our favorite songs in the movie is by Irving Berlin, "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)".  Here's a snippet of the lyrics:

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings..."
Can you think of a better way to fall asleep?  If you simply can't find the time during the day to practice gratitude, right before you bed is a great option - just count your blessings one by one until you drift off to sleep.  You might just wake up with a smile.
Bonus Links:
Want to read more?  Check out The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor