About a year ago, I started reading about why we should practice gratitude. So, I started a gratitude vase in my bedroom. I set out colorful markers, a stack of small papers, and an empty glass vase on a shelf. Each night, I spent 5 minutes (well, it was more like 3 minutes at first) writing down three things for which I was grateful. Soon, the vase was full of colorful slips of paper, and I had to add an extra vase to hold all the gratitude.
This year, we moved to a new house, and I have forgotten this habit. So, this week, I am starting this up again. Why?
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings.” -William Arthur Ward
My top ten reasons to practice gratitude:
1. I slept a little better. Thinking of happy memories from the day helped me go to bed more relaxed and in a good mood.
2. It quieted my mind. Taking five minutes at the end of the day to reflect and focus relaxed my mind.
3. It made me a more positive thinker. The act of practicing gratitude trained my brain to recognize the good things that happened that day.
4. It boosted my creativity. Using colorful markers gave me a little wiggle room to be creative. Sometimes, I even sketched out what I was grateful for.
5. It helped me with other positive habits. Like any compass routine, making a commitment to a bedtime routine helped me carve out time for other good habits. For example, I drank relaxing tea before bed while I was writing for my gratitude vase—making me more hydrated before bed.
6. I was constantly reminded of all the blessings in my life. Sitting on my bookshelf, the gratitude vase has been a constant reminder throughout the day of how lucky I am.
7. It made me more optimistic. It reminded me that good can come out of many tough situations.
8. It made me appreciate the little things. And, I have found that it’s those little things that can add up to big emotions.
9. It strengthened my relationships. So many times, I wrote about how I was grateful for my spouse, my family, and my friends. This reminder strengthened the feelings of love I have for many different relationships.
10. It has helped me grow. Practicing gratitude in this way was a practice in purposeful growth for myself.
How do you practice gratitude?
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