Do you ever feel like you’re too busy to be grateful? That might seem like a strange thing to say, but it’s true for many of us. We’re so focused on what we need to do next that we don’t take the time to appreciate all the good things in our lives. In this blog post, I will discuss a three-minute gratitude practice that can help change your life for the better!
Cultivate a daily gratitude practice
If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot to be grateful for. But it’s easy to take the good things in our lives for granted. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to appreciate what we have, instead of obsessing on what we do not.
The gratitude practice is simple: for three minutes, write down everything you are grateful for. It can be anything from your spouse or children to your job or your health. The key is to be specific and to really focus on the good things in your life.
In fact, the more specific you are, the better. So don’t just write down “I’m grateful for my family.” Instead, try something like “I’m grateful for my wife’s support during difficult times” or “I’m grateful for my daughter’s laughter.”
You could do it first thing in the morning, before you start your day. Or you could do it at night, before you go to bed. Whenever you do it, make sure you set aside some time to really focus on what you’re writing.
I simply scribble my thoughts in a notebook, but you could also invest in a gratitude journal, such as this one on Amazon which provides prompts to help you get into the right mindset. It also includes suggestions about how to reflect on your day and learn lessons that will enable you to do better in future.
The benefits of Gratitude
You might be wondering why you should bother with a gratitude practice. After all, it’s just three minutes out of your day, so how could it possibly make a difference? But the truth is that the benefits of gratitude are well-documented.
Gratitude has been shown to improve our physical health, mental wellbeing, and relationships. It can reduce stress and anxiety, help us to sleep better, and increase our overall satisfaction with life.
Additionally, gratitude can help increase your resilience in the face of adversity.
Counting my blessings
This exercise is a variation on the technique I use when I get overly anxious. When my chest is so constricted with anxiety that it feels like I have a rock crushing me, I start counting my blessings.
If I am in a safe place, surrounded by people who will not judge me negatively, I will mention them out loud, one by one.
If, on the other hand, I am somewhere where such behaviour might get me unwanted negative attention, I focus on them in my mind, taking a few seconds to savour each blessing.
By the time I get to the tenth blessing I usually feel better.
The reason this works is that it helps you to focus on the positive things in your life, instead of dwelling on the negative. It’s a way of tricking your brain into feeling better by changing your perspective.
Advantages of a Gratitude Practice
As mentioned above, I have been doing what I call my ‘blessing technique’ for years to quell my anxiety. However the 3-minute gratitude practice turns this on its head.
Instead of doing it when anxious, I do it daily, in order to prevent my anxieties from taking hold. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.
I have found that this gratitude practice can have a profound impact on your life if you do it regularly. In addition to making you feel happier and more positive, it can also help you attract more good things into your life.
As the saying goes, “what you focus on expands.” So if you focus on gratitude, you will begin to see more and more things to be grateful for.
I challenge you to try this practice for yourself and see how it affects your life. It only takes 3 minutes but the benefits could be huge.
The bottom line is that gratitude is good for you. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and increase your overall satisfaction with life. So make a commitment to yourself to do this practice every day, and see how it changes your life for the better!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. How has gratitude changed your life? What are you grateful for?