Over the years, I’ve found that interest in practicing gratitude always peaks around the New Year. In my last blog, I talked about making a choice in any moment, on any calendar day, to change your life. I guarantee you, whatever day you decide to commit to this, it will change your life.
Gratitude is healing, it’s freeing, and more than anything else, it will truly help you love the precious life you have.
That said, what goes into practicing gratitude? How do you begin?
It all starts with a breath. Deep, full body breaths are the first step to practicing gratitude. Why, you ask? You need to center yourself first, and connect to your body and your mind. I always like to start my day with gratitude. Upon waking up, I take a few full body breaths, and close my eyes. That sounds funny right? You open your eyes to the day, and then immediately close them again … yes.
It’s so easy to get distracted first thing in the morning. You start thinking about work, and what to make for breakfast, or what’s happening with the news, or your family, or if you need to take out the trash. We live in such a busy, connected world that it’s far too common to immediately start stressing about our day the moment our eyes open.
Taking that first moment, and shifting your day from starting with stress to gratitude will have a huge impact on your day. I always start my day with deep breaths, and then yes, I close my eyes again and focus on that moment. I center myself in that moment, and think of three things I’m grateful for. The fan blowing on my skin, the cool taste of water, the smell of coffee … it can be anything that makes you want to scream with joy, “IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE!”
After that initial moment in your day, practicing gratitude can happen whenever you want. It can be whatever you want- keeping a little journal to write in throughout the day, finding things your grateful for while sitting in traffic (don’t close your eyes for this part). You can even list off things you’re grateful for with each sip of water, tea, or coffee that you drink.
You can choose how often to list off those things you’re grateful for, but each moment of practicing gratitude should start with those deep breaths- at least four deep breaths, and whenever it is safe to do so- close your eyes. When you take those deep breaths, breathe deep through your nose until you can feel it throughout your whole body, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Use your senses to connect- what are your hands feeling, what are you smelling, what can you hear?
Rinse and repeat a few times until you feel connected to yourself and that singular moment in time. If thoughts of your day keep invading, take more breaths until you feel calmer. The rest is pretty simple.
What makes you happy to be alive? Find at least three things.
The more you do this, the more you’ll see what a beautiful life you have. Even through all the stress, and the things that hurt, choosing to see the good things will become very healing over time. I promise.
If you have any questions- come find me on social media, or leave comments below! In my next post, I’m going to talk about how the afternoon is often the perfect time to gain energy and practice gratitude!
Robin Lee is a medical intuitive, author, mentor, gratitude advocate, and speaker who has helped thousands of people around the world understand the language of their bodies. Robin believes that our bodies innately know how to balance and heal themselves if given proper care and support. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares tips, tools, and techniques to honor our bodies and heal our lives!
Image courtesy of Elina Sazonova.