The health benefits of practicing gratitude are widely documented – by taking time to reflect upon the things you’re thankful for, you’re likely to experience reduced anxiety, emotional turbulence, sickness and stress and improved focus, sleep and overall sense of calm.
Did you know it’s World Gratitude Day on 21 September? The concept originated in 1965 and was later adopted by the United Nations Meditation Group as an opportunity to show appreciation for all things big and small.
With World Gratitude Day right around the corner, we thought there’s no better time to help you welcome all those lovely gratitude vibes into your life. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t stress - we’ve rounded up some expert tips from Brittany McNabb. Brittany’s the founder of Brthe Space in Auckland - a beautiful mindfulness and meditation studio offering drop-in classes for everyday people to slow down and recharge.
Brittany’s top gratitude tips:
1 - Journaling: Keep a gratitude journal and favourite pen beside your bed and jot down three things each day that you were thankful for (moments big and small that brought meaning and joy to your day).
2 - Daily thank you: Each week (or evening if you’re feeling extra inspired) send a thank you text to someone who made a difference, or showed up for you in a meaningful way.
3 - Host a dinner party: A double whammy, social connection and gratitude! Spend some quality time with your closest friends over good food and lots of laughs.
4 - Vision board: Feel like getting creative? Get out the magazines and create a vision board filled with images, memories, graphics and quotes that make you feel inspired and thankful.
5 - Gratitude jar: Set up a jar and memo pad, and each evening write a moment, person or thing that you’re thankful for, then fold it up and drop it in the jar. Let the jar fill up and at the end of the year read through all the reasons you have to be grateful and joyful.
6 - Anchoring: Trouble sticking to the habit? Try anchoring your daily gratitude practice to a part of your daily routine. Mentally note three things you’re grateful for during your shower, brushing your teeth or making your morning coffee.
7 - Pay it forward: One of the quickest ways to hack your brain into positivity is giving to others! Choose a small, random act of kindness for the day (pay for a strangers coffee, compliment someone, pay for a strangers parking or donate some clothes to charity). We rise by lifting others.
8 - Download the app ‘grateful’: Basically the digital version of a gratitude jar. Take photos of moments and people you’re grateful for and add them to your app feed each evening. It offers a library of moments to scroll through whenever you need a pick-me-up.