It’s no secret that slowing down, ignoring the rush of this world, and truly living an intentional day makes our hearts go pitter-patter over here at Ramona & Ruth.
I’ve always been a “grateful” person, but it wasn’t until I started practicing gratitude on a daily basis, first as a kind of after-thought alongside my “to-do’s” for the day, and then as an intentional daily practice, that I started to feel and see how a daily gratitude practice can change your life.
By definition, gratitude is: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
But if you ask us, gratitude, or rather, having a daily gratitude practice, is so much more.
It’s a time in your day to really reflect, to savor that which is your life, to express thanks for and record the moments, places, people, things, events, and more that are shaping your days.
Over the years I’ve found three main benefits of a daily gratitude practice, and each one along is worth getting started on your own gratitude journey.
There’s a well-known quote from author Rhonda Byrne that I believe to be so true: “What you think about you bring about.”
It’s too easy, especially these days, to focus on all the negative or frustrating moments. But I don’t know one person who would write down that they’re grateful for the fender bender they got into in rush-hour traffic on the way home from a long day of work.
Yet, it’s easy to focus on all the parts of our day that felt bad. A daily gratitude practice takes us out of those moments and almost forces us to look for the good, to notice the moments, even if it was just one split second of the day, that made us smile, or feel appreciated.
The more gratitude we show to the beautiful moments in our lives, the more we start noticing even more beautiful moments.
Gratitude triple folds that which is already lovely.
The way the morning sun hits that one corner of your kitchen just so.
When your favorite barista knows your order, greets you with a genuine ‘hello’, and asks about your dog. That feeling you have when you walk out with your drink.
The first sign of ladybugs after a long winter.
Your little boys laugh as your partner tickles him into a state of silly, joyful hysteria.
The way your work colleague stopped what she was doing, despite her own heavy workload, to help you work through a problem.
These are the small things that send little jolts of joy and love and surprise through our hearts on a daily basis.
The small things are what make our lives so full.
So why are these moments so easy to glance right over?
When we’re always waiting for, and only counting, the big things in life, we start to miss out on what’s right before us - a life made up of so many beautiful, small, maybe even tiny, moments.
A daily gratitude practice almost trains your brain to start actively noticing these moments throughout your day, which in turn, can change your entire outlook on almost everything.
That immediate swell of pride and thanks as you feel, and later reflect on, the moment brings you more joy than you even realized. And more daily joy means a happier you. Long-term, this simple act of noticing the small things plays a huge significance in your life satisfaction.
And if you like a little healthy challenge, you can even make it a little game with yourself to start noticing the smaller moments throughout your day. Game on!
Expressing gratitude is great no matter the occasion or time period, but when you’re able to establish a daily gratitude practice, well… that’s where the magic unfolds.
I know it can feel challenging to start practicing gratitude on a daily basis, but your gratitude practice can be simple.
There are a few ways you can practice gratitude daily, whether you set aside time right before bed at night to reflect on and write down three moments of gratitude throughout the day, or you make it a point to pause throughout your day - morning, noon, and evening - to recognize and record the moments you’re grateful for… There’s truly no wrong way to start a daily gratitude practice.
One thing I do suggest though: Keep your gratitude practice in one place.
Meaning, wherever you write down and record your daily gratitude, write it down in the same place each day so that you can return to it time and again. This is often referred to as a gratitude journal.
Soon enough, you’ll start to see that your daily gratitude practice is the most amazing record of your life.
All those small moments you would have forgotten, but that made you feel loved, or appreciated, or joyful, or inspired at the time, you’re able to fully relive and remember them when you read back through your gratitude journal.
I’ve experienced this so deeply in my own life that our newest product, the Mini Gratitude Journal, is inspired by the powerful benefits of my own daily gratitude practice.
This mini gratitude journal encourages simple moments of pause and gratitude. A few minutes a day is all you need to jot down three things you’re thankful for, giving you a happiness boost while helping you focus on what matters most.
The small moments of pure joy, the cultivation of what’s lovely in our lives, the immense benefits of a daily gratitude practice come together to create a more content, satisfied, and happier us. I can’t think of anything better.
Get started on your own gratitude journey and check out the Mini Gratitude Journal here!