Healthy Lifestyle Routine: Gratitude

Hello lovely! Today we are continuing to talk about routines that help improve your health. Last week I spoke about the amazing tool of journaling. You can read that post here. Today we are talking all about gratitude and you may be thinking "how can gratitude be a routine?"  It's all about being intentional with your gratitude. You may say thank you throughout your day to various people and you may feel grateful for situations you are in or things that happen to you. But that is not what I am talking about here.

I'm talking about doing it mindfully; doing it on PURPOSE. 

Very often our world is laser focused on the negative. If you watch the news, look at Facebook, or just over hear conversations on the train you are more likely to see and hear sad, depressing stories that are filled with hate, anger, negativity. It's all doom and gloom these days. I have always joked that someone needs to invent a happy news channel that focuses on the good people are doing in the world because I cannot stand to watch the news as it is currently broadcasted. 

To take yourself out of that mindset you must deliberately focus on gratitude. 

By being intentionally about gratitude each day, for just a few minutes, you will be doing yourself a world of good! Studies have been done, like these at Harvard, that show people who focus some of their time on being grateful, are happier and more positive, had improved relationships, exercised more and visited the doctor less than those who did not. 

So how can you be intentional about being grateful?

Keeping a gratitude journal is one way. You know I love a good journal session, so I always write down at least 3 things I am grateful for everyday. They can be big like your family and friends, your health. Or very small like the yummy coffee you are currently sipping, the conversation you had with your Dad recently, or just that the sun is shining. 

If you need some prompting I highly recommend the Five Minute Journal. Every morning it asks you for 3 things you're grateful for, 3 things that would make today great and a daily affirmation. Then in the evening it prompts you for 3 things that were amazing today and how you could have made today even better. It also includes inspiring quotes and challenges here and there. A blank journal or the Five Minute Journal are both great tools to add to your routine that will put you in a more positive and optimistic mindset. 

Once I started doing this regularly I have found my predisposition to look at things in a "glass half empty" mindset was beginning to shift to a "glass half full" mindset. I am a more optimistic and generally happier person since making gratitude part of my day.  

If journaling isn't your thing there are a ton of other ways to bring gratitude into your routine.

  • Before you get out of bed just think of 3 things you are grateful for. Do the same thing before you go to sleep.
  • Think about it everyday while you brush your teeth
  • Write a thank you note once a week for everything you are thankful for
  • Write a thank you note and actually give it to someone 
  • Pray or meditate about the things you are grateful for

You get the idea! Just find a time daily to bring your mind to a place of gratefulness. You'll be grateful you did!