Gratitude Exercise to Improve Your Life

It’s hard to get out of a rut sometimes.  We do the same routine day after day and after a while we find ourselves slipping into auto-pilot and wondering where the days went.  One way that we can get a new outlook on life is to do a simple gratitude exercise.  

Tonight before you get ready to go to bed, grab a pen and paper and make a list of three things that you were grateful for today.  You can include ANYTHING on this list.  Maybe you had a great meal, or had a visit with a friend you hadn’t seen in a while. Perhaps it was your walk with your dog, maybe you saw your first spring plant starting to burst our of the ground. What about how you felt when someone said Thank You for something you did today.

If your day was full of nothing but bad things and you can’t think of a single thing to be grateful for – trying turning the tables around and being grateful for something that didn’t happen.  For example, your boss reprimanded you for something that wasn’t your fault and wasn’t even within your control. Your first instinct was so fight back but you took the high road and removed yourself from the situation so you could think before acting. Then you came back once you were calm and outlined the situation and the reason for your actions and made plans to update your boss with that information tomorrow. That seems like something to be pretty proud of and grateful for!

Or what if it’s been a day where really nothing happened and there’s nothing to be grateful for. Well – think more everyday things. I’m grateful for my apartment, or my car so I don’t have to take the bus to work anymore, or my kids because their story from school today made me laugh.  You get the idea.  We can always find something to be grateful for when we really stop to think about it.

Now here’s the fun part about this gratitude exercise.  As you start to do it each day, it will get easier for you to do. Maybe you’ll start to see the same things popping up on your list night after night.  That’s great! Those are the things that you should be concentrating on because they are bringing out something positive in your life.  You may even find that as you go about your day, something with happen and you’ll think to yourself – that’s going on the list tonight. How great to be in the moment and recognize it as something positive that’s happening to you today.

If you’d like more information about gratitude there is a nice TED Talk video that discusses this topic; Discover the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock Your Happiest Life! by Jane Ransom.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great day today!

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