Having grown up in a Christian home, gratitude has been a daily, collective, practice for me and my family. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I took my practice away from the dinner table.
I committed to a year of listing a minimum of five new things every day as a part of my morning routine. After a couple of weeks, I made myself add ‘why’ after each one.
It wasn’t hard for me, always being up for a good challenge, but I wasn’t prepared for the effects. Not only was it powerful, but it was also probably the most life-changing exercise I ever committed to in my life. Whaaat?
How can keeping a gratitude challenge be that powerful?
- I started noticing tiny details in my everyday life, and I loved what I discovered.
- I realized I had things I thought I was still looking for.
- I now have to try hard to see anything as an obstacle (‘struggles’ are instead lessons). Honestly.
- I can’t remember the last time I had a sudden mood swing. Happiness is my default mode.
- I stopped craving, impulse buying things, filling some empty hole within me.
- It is so much easier loving people, things and situations now. Honestly.
- I FEEL that I live in abundance.
Needless to say, it has been a great tool for my minimalist lifestyle, feeling that I already have what I need and more.
Curious about giving it a try? Here are three easy ways to start.
- Keep a gratitude journal like I did. Make it an everyday routine.
- Pay someone a gratitude visit. (Tell someone you are grateful for that you are, and why. They will probably reciprocate the feeling. Giving AND receiving takes everything to a whole new level.)
- Keep your phone in your pocket the next time you are walking/commuting. Pay attention to everything around you.
There is a great irony in gratitude practice – THE MORE GRATEFUL I AM FOR WHAT I HAVE – THE MORE OF THAT COMES MY WAY. Isn’t that something?