Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions, but most of us don’t do enough to harness it. In fact, it’s easy to get out of the habit of feeling grateful for much of anything at all. If you haven’t given much thought lately to all the good things in your life, it might be time to change that by training yourself to choose a grateful mindset over a negative one.

Adopting a morning gratitude practice can make a huge difference in your overall mood and outlook on life. When you take the time to practice gratitude intentionally every day, a grateful mindset will become a habit – and you might find that your life improves dramatically. Being thankful for what you have helps you to shed any negativity you’re carrying around and open yourself up to the positive side of life. Here’s how you can incorporate gratitude into your morning routine.

How to Start Your Day with Gratitude to Make Your Life Better

1. Get a journal.

It’s easiest to build and maintain a grateful mindset when you physically write down the things you’re grateful for. Keeping a journal also lets you look back over your past entries, which can be helpful for your personal development. Go out and get a journal or notebook that you like enough to use every day – it doesn’t have to be fancy.

2. Just start writing.

You might not be sure what to write at first, and that’s fine. Write the first thing that comes to mind. There are no rules for practicing thankfulness – you can do it any way you want. One method many people follow is writing out a list of five or ten things you’re thankful for every day.

gratitude quote

3. Pay attention to the little things.

Not everything you write in your journal has to be big and life-altering. In fact, most of what you write about will probably involve the smaller details of life, such as a nice meal, a hot shower, or a beautiful morning sky. Nothing is too small or trivial to include in your entries.

4. Remind yourself to be thankful as you carry out your daily routine.

In addition to writing in a journal, try practicing mindful thankfulness as you go about your daily activities. For instance, take an extra moment to taste your morning tea or enjoy that first breath of fresh air when you step outside your front door. The more you do this, the more you’ll build the habit of appreciating the small things in your life.

5. Share your gratitude practice with someone else.

If you want to get more out of your practice (and make sure you’ll stick with it long-term), team up with a family member or friend who also wants to build the habit of being grateful. Share your entries with each other on a daily or weekly basis.

6. Think of gratitude as a long-term project.

It takes a while to cultivate the mentality of being grateful. If you’ve been stuck in a negative mindset for a while, it will take weeks – if not months – to unlearn that mindset. Commit to writing in your journal frequently, and try not to miss any days if you can help it. Over time, you will train yourself to think differently, and thankfulness will become second nature to you.

7. Cut yourself some slack if you’re imperfect – but don’t give up.

Changing the way you think is hard work. Even if you have the best of intentions, you’ll likely skip a few journal entries here and there, and some days you might struggle to find anything to feel grateful for at all. That’s okay – everyone is human, and almost no one is able to practice gratitude perfectly. The important thing is to keep trying. It takes regular effort to build any habit, including the habit of thankfulness.

Final Thoughts

The power of gratitude can change your life if you let it. Feeling thankful for what you have can transform your whole approach to living. It makes you more content with what you already have – and that, in turn, helps you connect with your true self and build a life that feels true to you.

Starting and maintaining a gratitude practice is simple, though not always easy. In a nutshell, it just involves sitting down every day, clearing your mind, and journaling for a few minutes about what you’re feeling most thankful for. Over time, if you make this tiny habit a regular part of your morning routine, you’ll find that you start every day feeling calmer, happier, and more optimistic.

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