Last month, the Dr Ally camp was all about mindfulness, well if you've been attending my lives on insta you know November is all about gratitude. Gratitude is not our biological default, in fact our brains are actually primed to hep us remember all of the bad things that happen in life so we can make sure they never happen to us again. Not exactly a little gratitude generator. So, that means we have to go out of our way to build a gratitude practice into or lives. I call it a practice because it is literally something that you have to do daily. So how do you practice gratitude? Here are 5 ways to improve your daily gratitude practice.
1. Wake up and get grateful: There's something to be said about developing daily schedules. Our brains and bodies love consistency and working gratitude into your morning routine can transform your outlook on life. The more you think a thought the more engrained that thought becomes. So if you focus on all of the people, place, and things you are grateful for in detail you'll be more likely to think of them in positive terms and therefore have more positive thoughts in a day. So, write out the things you are grateful for daily in a journal or on your phone.
2. Get controversial: We all have the typical gratitude go to's, "I'm thankful for my health...for my family...for my partner". But it's harder to build gratitude or something difficult like pain, criticism, stress, loosing friends. These are some areas that will help expand your mind and your creativity. When you get creative you are stretching a slightly different muscle, in a way. It allows you to practice what we call divergent thinking and can help with overall thinking. So try being grateful for something a little different today.
3. Radical Acceptance: Acceptance is a skill you should work into your daily practice as well. When being grateful we also should acknowledge that there are some things we cannot change. That's when a healthy dose of acceptance can help.
4. Try, try, and try again: Remember the old adage practice makes perfect? Well, practice actually makes permanent. The more you practice a given behavior or thought the better you get at that behavior or thought. So, if you practice an ineffective or negative thought or behavior then you'll get really good at that. As you journey through your practice keep this in mind.
5. Remember what you were grateful for: Now that we've woken up with gratitude, gotten a little controversial, accepted everything in our lives, and continue to practice it's time to remember all the amazing gratitude from our day. In addition to your morning gratitude write down what you are grateful every evening. I lovingly constructed an absolutely free mindfulness form for you so download and keep track.