Sandra Possing

Apr 16, 2018

4 min read

Gratitude. Gratitude practice. Having an attitude of gratitude. There is lots of talk about it these days. And that’s because it works! Or more accurately, it works if you work it 🙂

I’ve been OBSESSED with just how well it works lately. It makes a massive difference when you train your mind to look for the positive and to get into the habit. So! I want to share some of my favorite tips and tricks with you in the list below. Here’s a facebook post I did earlier today where I was just riffing about it if you prefer that format.

Gratitude can be done in a million different ways. Don’t worry about getting it right, just play with it, experiment, and look for the strategies that work best for you!

My Favorite Gratitude Hacks

This is a list of my favorite gratitude hacks, starting with the easiest and most accessible and progressing to the more advanced or involved techniques, which I recommend for more experienced practitioners.

1) Gratitude Journal
Keep a journal or notebook, that is dedicated to gratitude, somewhere easily accessible. For the beginner, I suggest a pad of paper and pen on your nightstand. Every night before you go to sleep, write down a simple list of 3 things (e.g. puppies, my health, lasagna) that you are thankful for. Try to stick with the practice for at least a month, preferably longer, to help it become a habit.

2) Gratitude Accountability Buddy
Recruit a friend, family member, partner, or colleague to be your accountability buddy. Every day exchange a text, email, phone call etc. with at least one thing you’re grateful for. This will not only help you each stay accountable to having more gratitude in your life, but it will likely deepen your connection and take your relationship to a whole new level!

Photo of man and woman in red shirts that say thankful on them

Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

3) Gratitude in the shower
You can use a structure in your life, like something you do every day, to trigger your gratitude impulse. For example, something you do every day, like taking a shower, can become a place where you automatically go into gratitude. As you wash different parts of your body, start by appreciating that body part (e.g. “I’m so grateful for my strong legs that allow me to exercise, hike outside in the fresh air, and play with my kids!”) and then see what else wants to flow from there.

4) Gratitude about the negative
It’s one thing to be positive and happy when things are going well. But it’s much harder when the shit hits the fan. These experiences, however, are a HUGE opportunity for gratitude. When you are dealing with a challenge or are struggling in some way, do what you need to do to express the emotion in a healthy way (i.e. a good ugly cry in the shower or talking it out with a friend), and then take a moment to find something about it that you can be grateful for. There are a ton of lessons to be learned during hardships and you can train your brain to look for the growth opportunities instead of just dwelling on the struggle.

5) Creative Gratitude
Keep it fresh and interesting by mixing up the way you express your gratitude, whether in your journal or to a buddy. Some days you can use simple ideas like your health, having a roof over your head, or good weather that you may typically take for granted. Other days, challenge yourself to go deep. Perhaps you appreciate a person in your life, who is a huge inspiration to you, and how they’ve helped you improve your life in some way. Or that you are grateful for all the seemingly magical synchronicities that are showing up in your life, which are confirming to you that the universe has your back and you’re on an awesome path!

Woman in denim with outstretched arms and eyes closed

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

6) Rampage of Appreciation
This idea comes from Abraham-Hicks, one of my favorite spiritual teachers. Don’t check out Abraham’s stuff unless you are seriously open to the woo, because it is pretty out there. It’s the “fruitloopasaurus” kind of out there, as my favorite author, Jen Sincero (who I got to meet last week!) called it when she mentioned their work during her talk.

Anyway, this strategy involves starting to rant about whatever you’re grateful for and really going for it. Like stand up, get excited, keep talking, and just blurt out anything and everything you can think of that you are grateful for, including your dreams and desires (if you want to really supercharge this technique!) as if they’ve already come to be. Have fun with it, be enthusiastic, and let yourself dive headfirst into all the good vibes!

7) Advanced Gratitude Journaling
Once you’re in the habit of writing simple gratitudes in your journal and it feels easy, you can take it to the next level by trying some of the following variations: gradually increase the number of things you write down on your list up to 10 or 20 per day, set a timer and write — stream of consciousness style — about everything you are grateful for until the timer goes off, or journal about things you want that haven’t happened yet (but that you are working on manifesting) as if they have already happened.

Choose one of more of these strategies and give them a go! I’d love to hear how it works for you. Or if you’re already a gratitude junkie, feel free to share how it’s changed your life or what your favorite tips are.