If you’re like me then you will start most years with a resolution to meditate more but, before you know it, your meditation time turns into an excuse to curl up in bed with your eyes closed in the middle of the day. Just me?
Either way, a resolution to meditate more is not a bad idea. Meditating and practising gratitude are both great ways to improve your mental health. But, in case you’re like me and don’t always have a mindset for formal meditation, here are five different ways to establish (and benefit from) a daily gratitude practice.
1. Gratitude journalling
I popped a space for noting moments of gratitude into my bullet journal’s weekly spread. But if you don’t bullet journal, you could add three things into your regular diary or treat yourself to one of the lovely gratitude journals that are available. Here are three journals that incorporate gratitude that you may wish to check out.
- Gratitude Journal: 100 days of Gratitude Will Change Your Life
- The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
- Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal: Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life
And here is Annie Clarke talking about how keeping a gratitude journal has helped her.
2. Make a happiness haul
Each month I make a happiness haul over on my YouTube channel. If you want to do something similar without spending a lot of time editing then there is a lovely app called 1 Second Everyday, which allows you to capture a moment of every day and then pops them into a little video for you. It is so easy to use and it is amazing how watching just one second of film from a day can evoke the happy feelings you felt at that point in time.
3. Use social media
There are lots of people using social media to keep track of happy-making moments. For example, Dr Pooky Knightsmith tweets #3GoodThings every day. Social media can so often make us feel as though our lives are lacking in comparison to others. This is a lovely way to take a moment to focus in on your own life and consider what things you have to appreciate. Plus, if you’re like me and spend a lot of time online then it is a great way of receiving a little prompt to stop and take a moment to be grateful.
4. Make a good things jar
All you need for this is a glass jar, some pens and paper! Decorate your jar in whatever way you want and then write your happy moments onto a piece of paper at the end of each day and pop them in your jar. You could also note down lovely things people say about you or little quotes that make you reflect on what there is to appreciate. At the end of the year, or when you are feeling blue, you can look back over your good things jar and celebrate all the lovely things.
5. Take 15 minutes to do a gratitude practice
Now even if you are like me and don’t always have a mindset for meditation, there will be days where you can manage a more traditional gratitude practice. To make it extra easy for you, I have put together a little playlist on YouTube of some of my favourite gratitude meditations, including a practice for first thing in the morning and one for just before you fall asleep. The first one I’ve included (below) is under ten minutes and there are a couple that will only take you 15 minutes. But in case you’re feeling super motivated to meditate, you’ll find two that are a little longer (around 30 minutes). The playlist also includes a meditation led by the author of the Gratitude Journal: 100 days of Gratitude Will Change Your Life. If you have a Headspace subscription, you could also check out their pack on Appreciation.
What other ways do you use to build a practice of gratitude into your everyday life? Let me know in the comments below or head over to Twitter or Facebook to let me know your #3GoodThings. I would love to hear from you.