“Should we do the gratitude thing?” my husband asked me the other night, our bodies spooning together under the crisp cotton sheet and quilt.
My husband recently suggested we try out this new evening ritual. It wasn’t planned so much as invented out of necessity amidst some stressful workdays. We lull ourselves to sleep with the music of small moments.
“I’m grateful for these sheets.”
“Yeah, you did a good job picking these out… My health.”
“The heat in our home.”
“My run tonight.”
When it comes to enjoying your life, gratitude is the one emotion that seems to supercharge your results. It makes you feel good right now, no matter what your circumstances are, and it helps you change those circumstances.
“Gratitude always has the effect of pulling our limited attention toward things we love, and this changes everything.”Martha Beck
Two principles for your gratitude practice
If you’re considering creating or expanding your own gratitude practice, there are 2 principles I highly recommend applying:
1) Make it consistent, which helps it become a feeling state you naturally gravitate towards throughout your day.
Gratitude is a lifestyle, not something you can check off of a to-do list. For example, for years I wrote in a gratitude journal every night before bed. I’d write a few phrases to capture specific things I appreciated about my day.
2) Make it specific, which increases the pleasurable sensation.
You could write down that you’re grateful for food, or you could get very specific and remember what that experience was like: sitting with my husband at my refinished dining room table, the one my grandparents owned for half a century, eating my favorite lentil chili.
What’s an easy step you could take every day to cultivate more gratitude? (Be sure to make it easy. Ideally, a new habit takes less than 2 minutes to complete.)
When will you start this new habit? (Tomorrow at a certain time, tonight after brushing your teeth…?)
Taking gratitude to the next level
This concept is explored more deeply in Lesson 2 of the Career Clarity eCourse. If you’re thinking about making a career change but aren’t sure exactly what you want to do in order to feel fulfilled, this course will give you the knowledge and tools you need to make your next move with clarity and confidence. Enrollment is open through Friday, April 30.