Let’s talk about gratitude and how inviting this simple ritual into your daily routine will change your outlook on life and make you happier in the process.
Here’s everything you need to know about gratitude including how to practice it and why it’s essential to your well-being.
Finding gratitude in everything I do is an essential part of my well-being journey.
When I’ve hit a rough patch or things haven’t gone to plan, it’s important for me to remind myself of all the good things in my life and the things that continue to light me up inside.
No matter how tedious that thing might be, like being grateful for a warm bed, being healthy or having access to clean water. It’s still so important to not take these things for granted.
And by practising gratitude, I am able to appreciate the smaller things in life and focus on the things that bring me joy.
But although I’m an advocate for gratitude now, my younger self was very different.
Table of Contents
- My ungrateful younger self
- Old habits die hard
- Gratitude and me
- The art of practising gratitude
- The benefits of practising gratitude
- 5 ways to practice gratitude daily
- Final thoughts
My ungrateful younger self
Let’s not pretend that we were all amazing children who appreciated absolutely everything our parents gave us and didn’t desire anything else than what we already had.
It can be shocking to look back and feel shame at how we acted when we were younger.
I for one feel sorry for my teenage self as I never stopped to look around to appreciate what my parents built.
My father still lives in the same house he grew up in.
As a teen, I used to hate going to stay in his Greek village. It was old-fashioned, remote with nothing going on and about 10 years behind my life in England.
Back then I was a material girl. All I wanted to do was go shopping in Athens and visit the famous islands of Santorini and Mykonos as that’s where all the celebs were going.
I didn’t stop to look around at the beauty and wholesomeness of where I was from which essentially stopped me from enjoying my time there.
I was too busy feeling embarrassed for myself. Embarrassed for when I would go back to school after the summer to hear about everyone else’s cool trips to Africa, the South of France or the USA, while I had to explain that I spent 3-weeks in my dad’s village not understanding a word of the language being spoken.
So yes, to put it frankly, I was pretty fucking ungrateful.
But what I’ve come to terms with during my healing journey is that I was just a child.
I was young and hadn’t yet developed the self-awareness I have now. I wasn’t conscious of the less-fortunate people who weren’t as lucky as me. Instead, I was too involved in what my friends and the other girls who went to my school had and naturally wanted the same.
Old habits die hard
Even when I lived in London I wanted more.
Yes, living in London was detrimental to my mental health but I never truly appreciated my time there. I never allowed myself to be proud of what I had managed to accomplish.
Living and working in one of the most expensive cities in the world?
That was a pretty big deal. But I was too busy partying around London, trying to act boujee and getting into all the cool clubs so I could post a bunch of drunken pictures on Instagram.
I was jealous of influencers (mainly the Made In Chelsea cast) and others who had nicer clothes than me, more friends, more money and more “insta-worthy” pictures.
Even though I was going out nearly every night partying and having a good time (let’s face it, I was), I was still wishing the night ended differently, or wishing that I went somewhere else.
Long story short, I was living too much in my own head and not taking the time to appreciate the present.
I was so focused and obsessed with other people’s lives on social media, that I stopped focusing on myself and got lost in the process.
And eventually, I hit rock bottom.
Gratitude and me
It took me until I was 27 and travelling the world solo to finally take a step back and appreciate everything – what I have, where I come from, what I’ve seen and where I am now (which is surprisingly my dad’s Greek village).
All I live with now is a backpack full of clothes and essentials, my phone, laptop, The Five Minute Journal and a few books.
But that’s a story for another time.
Yes, I have my goals and work towards them, but I’m not constantly striving for more. Once I’ve reached a particular goal, I feel content as that’s enough for me. I don’t wish I had gone a step further or made an extra sale.
I’m happy with my progress and most importantly I am learning to enjoy the process.
I’ve let go of being jealous and resentful of others and instead I’m focusing on my own journey.
And this has all come down to the art of practising gratitude.
It’s a ritual I now do regularly in the mornings even when it feels like a chore. Because yes, even your favourite activities can feel slightly tedious sometimes.
The art of practising gratitude
Gratitude means, “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
So to practice gratitude is to show your own appreciation of things.
Either in your head, out loud or on paper.
The most popular form of practising gratitude comes with journaling. Writing down the things, people, surroundings, etc, you are grateful for at that exact moment.
Gratitude researcher and psychology professor, Robert Emmons explains that there are two key components when practising this ritual:
- We affirm the good things we’ve received
- We acknowledge the role other people play in providing our lives with goodness
And the best bit about being able to practice gratitude?
It’s super simple and affordable.
All you need is a notebook and pen, or journal app, and some motivation.
The benefits of practising gratitude
Practising gratitude is the simplest thing you can do each morning to become happier.
But that’s not all.
When you practice gratitude, you are opening yourself up to many other mindset changes.
- Feeling grounded, especially during challenging times
- Boosting your mental health and well-being
- Allowing your mind to focus on the positive things
- Making you more optimistic
- Developing a new-found appreciation for the simple things
- Cultivating a healthy work-life balance
- Relieving stress and overwhelm
- Decreasing anxiety and depression
- Fewer physical symptoms of illness
- Forming a deeper connection with yourself, your surroundings and others
5 ways to practice gratitude daily
Learning to practice gratitude daily is pretty straightforward.
There are no rules to it.
You can either use a blank notebook and write thoroughly or create a bullet-point list of everything you are grateful for. You can even specify what you’re grateful for in two or three sentences.
The most important thing to do is to stay consistent. So incorporate this ritual into your morning routine so you don’t forget about it.
Because if there is just one thing you need to know about gratitude, it’s that this practice cannot be rushed.
1 | Schedule gratitude journaling into your daily routine
Getting started on a new ritual is always the hardest part.
But once you get going, you’ll wonder how you ever existed without your new daily habit in the first place!
So the easiest way to practice gratitude daily is to actually make time for it.
Dedicate time to sitting down somewhere and doing nothing else but journaling.
Schedule it at a time when you know you will be available and can focus with zero distractions. This might be as soon as you wake up or just before you go to sleep. You might even find the time during “a white space slot” in your schedule.
There is no “right” headspace to be in when practising gratitude as you can always show appreciation for good things. If some days you are unable to feel gratitude for yourself, then dig a bit deeper and focus on finding gratitude for the world or the people around you instead.
So choose a time of day that suits you, and stick to it.
It’s also important to note that your practice doesn’t need to be long either.
It can be as short as 5 or 10-mins so it can easily fit into your schedule and lifestyle.
Do what works for you, just don’t skip this step.
2 | Stay consistent
When forming any new habit, it’s important you do it consistently.
Why? Because it makes it easier to stick to it that way.
So write down when you will practice gratitude in your daily schedule and do it at the same time every day.
You can even keep a habit tracker which you can tick off daily to help monitor your progress.
It goes without saying that the more you do something, the more consistent you will be.
And the best thing about gratitude journaling – it has immediate benefits. So once you can feel it working, I’m sure you will want to continue the practice daily.
So yes, stay consistent.
But also don’t beat yourself up if you do happen to have a “meh” day and don’t end up gratitude journaling when you were supposed to. Don’t dwell on it and instead move on and look forward to doing your ritual tomorrow.
3 | Keep it simple and fun with gratitude lists
Starting to journal and practice gratitude may seem a little overwhelming or daunting. Especially if you are faced with a blank page.
So instead, keep things simple and fun by focusing on gratitude lists.
Every morning or evening make a gratitude list and write down 11-15 simple things that bring you joy and pleasure.
I mainly stick to this type of gratitude as it allows me to be more mindful and actually pay attention to my surroundings as well as live more in the moment.
Plus lists are my jam so you just know I’m getting a huge kick out of this!
A few of my favourite small pleasures this week have been sunsets, spending time outside, binge-watching Conversations With Friends, drinking chocolate milk, listening to the birds every morning and waking up next to my love.
4 | Say “I get to do” instead of “I have to do”
Showing appreciation for things doesn’t always look like journaling or making a gratitude list.
Sometimes it can be as simple as making a language shift.
So instead of saying “I have to do this” and feeling resentful or unexcited, change it to “I get to do this” for an instant positive mindset shift.
Remember, you don’t “have” to do anything.
No one is forcing you.
You are the one in control of the choices you make.
You “get” to do what you want to do, so feel excited and grateful for these opportunities.
5 | Invest in The Five Minute Journal
If you’re a beginner at practising gratitude or simply prefer structure over free-hand writing, then I highly recommend using a guided gratitude journal.
The Five Minute Journal is a simple, structured, curated guide that is suitable for everyone.
With The Five Minute Journal, you can enjoy the mindful ritual of practising gratitude in just 5-mins so it can easily fit into your daily routine.
This notebook has space for you to write down 3 things you are grateful for every morning and what would make today great. It also promotes self-love and positive self-talk by guiding you to write down a daily affirmation.
And not only that, but The Five Minute Journal also allows daily reflection by prompting you to write down 3 highlights from the day and a lesson learnt before you doze off.
So if you want to keep yourself accountable and provide structure to your gratitude practice, then invest in The Five Minute Journal today and become happier in just 5-mins.
Buy your first journal today, and receive 10% off with code THALIA10 – simply enter the code at checkout.
Because when you practice gratitude you are building a deeper connection with yourself.
You are committing to self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-compassion and these are essential tools for supporting your personal growth, mental health and overall well-being.
And for that reason, I am a huge advocate for practising gratitude.
It allows me to truly connect with myself on a raw, wholehearted level and changes my perspective on things.
Whenever I wake up feeling anxious or annoyed, I give myself a mindful 5-mins to focus on all the good things going on in my life and to appreciate the smaller things.
And this instantly lifts my mood and sets me up for a more positive and meaningful day.
No more obsessing or comparing myself to others.
Instead, I can think clearly and focus on my own path.
Because remember, no one is coming to save you.
You need to make these positive, healthier changes yourself.
So be your own cheerleader and practice gratitude daily for a happier and more fulfilled you!
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
Disclaimer: Please note, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links then I will be rewarded at no extra cost to you. Any money earned through affiliates will be put towards running my blog and newsletter.