Changing your thinking really doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and complicated process. I know, it’s not easy. Nor will it happen overnight. However, making a concerted effort to switch things up or add a couple new practices to your daily routine can lead to long-term results that last. One practice you can begin to incorporate that’s not very intimidating is to embrace gratitude as you start your day. A gratitude exercise in the morning helps to develop a positive mindset for the rest of your day by putting you on the right track before you even walk out the door. The following information will explain this simple process and the benefits it can offer.
A Common Gratitude Exercise
One of the easiest and most effective ways to practice gratitude each day is to write in a journal. The act of putting pen to paper can be therapeutic in itself, almost as if you are creating your intentions as you form the letters on the page. Some people prefer to type their journal into their computer, and that’s fine but personally, I prefer good ole' fashion pen and paper. The important thing is to consistently take time each day to journal an expression of gratitude. You can simply write a list of five things you are grateful for each morning as a way to center your mind on positivity as your day begins or you may decide to write longer entries. By making this morning writing a habit, you will instill a routine that brings positive thinking to the forefront of every day. It’s difficult to slip into negative thought patterns when you’re reminded daily of all the good things you’re fortunate enough to have, including good health, shelter, loving family, good friends and food to nourish you.
Benefits of a Morning Gratitude Exercise
The primary reason embracing gratitude works is because it intentionally shifts your focus to a positive mindset instead of one that concentrates on lack or negativity. In order for this shift to become internalized into your frame of reference, you’ll need to practice. That’s where daily writing comes in. Journaling makes it more real and is more proactive than attempting to change your thinking alone. As you begin to embrace gratitude daily, you may soon find that you become less fearful. Grateful people center their attention on abundance, which naturally tends to overcome fear. Being less afraid allows for a peace of mind that is comforting. When there is less fear, there can be more risk. You may discover increased success in your career and other areas of interest because gratitude gives you the freedom to pursue what’s meaningful to you. All of these benefits combined have the ability to give you a far happier life.
Practical Steps to Getting Started
The most difficult part of implementing a new routine is usually just getting started. To help you be more committed to your morning gratitude exercise, it’s important to put some concrete measures into place. First of all, be realistic. Your new habit won’t take root right away, so be easy on yourself if you find yourself skipping a day here and there. Just get back into the groove as soon as possible and move on. Discouragement is what leads us to quit. In the beginning, set your alarm to go off 20 minutes or so earlier than usual. This will give you adequate time to attend to your morning ritual so you don’t feel rushed. As you get used to journaling each day, you’ll find a quick five minutes is all you need. If you find you’re not able to maintain this practice on your own, get an accountability buddy. Tell someone about your new goal and ask them to check in with you on occasion. This will motivate you to stick with writing until it becomes a habit.
So there you have it. Beginning a practice of gratitude isn’t all that difficult, but its rewards are great. You may soon discover that you truly crave this peaceful alone time to set your daily intentions and to enjoy the quiet solitude.