Recently I decided to start adding more gratitude in my daily life. I committed to publishing a picture of something I was grateful for every day for seven days, using the hashtag #gratitudechallenge on social media.
Why a Gratitude Challenge?
If you have a look at the content on social media or on TV, or if you look around at work or when having a coffee with friends, you will realise that we are surrounded by complaints, criticism and negativity. There is a tendency to focus on the negative side and waste energy on complaining, instead of focusing on the positive things that we have and we want to attract. We tend to forget that there are many reasons to be grateful every day.
If we spend most of our energy on complaining, we turn into a magnet for negativity, attracting more negative people and events to our lives.
We all know that extremely negative person who can’t wait to see you to start complaining and telling you about their dramas. The more they complain, the more they experience negative events.
But if you think of successful people, those who are at peace with themselves and enjoy real emotional well-being, you will realise that they don’t have time for drama. They are focused on reaching their goals, they value what they have and are grateful for all their life experiences. They celebrate good moments and learn from difficult ones. They take responsibility for their actions and don’t play the victim role.
We often hear that “fortune smiles on some but not on others”, but this is not a matter of luck or coincidence. Our thoughts and behaviours have more influence than we think on our daily life events. Practising gratitude is key to attract what we want to experience.
If I had to choose just one thing to add to a daily routine to increase emotional well-being, I would definitely say: ‘replace negativity with gratitude’.
What I learnt from practising daily gratitude for a week:
My emotional state immediately improved when I connected with gratitude.
Every day before going to bed I thought about something I was grateful for. I picked a picture which represented it and published it on social media. After this short ritual, which took less than five minutes, I felt more at peace, more content. I felt like the day had been worth it.
If you have never tried this before, I would recommend you try it just once, you will notice the difference!
No matter how terrible your day was, there is always at least ONE reason to be thankful.
That week wasn’t particularly easy for me, and some days I thought: “well, it hasn’t been a special day, I might struggle finding something to be grateful for today”. But it doesn’t have to be the best event ever, little things count too! A delicious breakfast, having a home to live in, a chat with an old friend, being healthy, a warm shower… There are many things that are part of our daily life and go unnoticed. But if you pay attention, any random day can be full of reasons to be grateful.
When done first thing in the morning, it completely changes the way you face the day.
After a few days, on top of publishing a picture at night, I decided to add a minute of gratitude in the morning. Something as easy as hanging a paper on the door and reading it every morning before leaving the house completely changed the way I started my day. My mindset changed from “yeah, OK, let’s see what today brings” to “today IS GOING TO BE a great day!”
How can I add gratitude to my daily routine?
It takes literally two minutes a day.
- Choose the time of the day that works best for you. I recommend you set an alarm, because at the beginning (like with any habit you want to incorporate to your routine), it´s better to have a reminder so you don’t forget to do it.
- For at least a couple of minutes make sure you won’t be disturbed. Focus on saying “thank you” from the bottom of your heart and avoid distractions.
- How to do it? There are endless options! This is a list with some ideas:
- Write every day in a gratitude journal
- Just think about whatever you are grateful for with your eyes closed
- Say it out loud
- Write it on a post-it and put them in different places
- If you are doing this with a “gratitude buddy”, send each other a message with your reasons to be grateful
- Take a daily picture and save them in your phone/computer
- Write down a general gratitude phrase and read it every day
- If when doing this exercise any emotions come up and you are not sure how to handle it, maybe you want to read this article about managing emotions and expressing them in a healthy way.
And remember, even if it doesn’t seem like it, there is ALWAYS at least one reason to be grateful. Even if it’s just ONE!
If you feel like doing the 7 day challenge and sharing it on social media, use the hashtag #gratitudechallenge!
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