Welcome to MyIntent’s Gratitude Guide!
In this blog, we will talk about:
- the importance of gratitude
- how being grateful can change your story
- how to establish a gratitude routine
What is Gratitude?
We know the basics - how to say please and thank you and be mindful of others when they take the time to do something thoughtful for us. But maintaining gratitude consistently throughout our daily lives and routines may feel more complicated.
What's Your Story?
When your goal is happiness, they say it's all about the hustle, right? You have to think ahead to get ahead and always plan for the future.
Well, not entirely.
Historically, research has shown that people who express gratitude for their current circumstances have decreased stress levels and stronger coping skills. If you are grateful for where you are, that doesn’t mean that you are complacent. You can continue to move forward and pursue your goals while still expressing gratitude for how far you’ve come.
Gratitude is not what you have that makes you happy; it’s being happy with what you already have.
In her podcast, The Gratitude Diaries, Janice Kaplan comments that “the stories you tell become your identity.” The narrative that you choose to relay affects not only your perception of yourself, but others’ perception of you too.
So, how will you tell the story of you? Will you focus on the negative moments? Or will you recount the difficult times as an opportunity for you to learn and grow? Did the obstacles that put your life on pause hold you back? Or did they teach you to become more aware or patient or kind?
Create a Gratitude Practice
Gratitude is not about focusing on what’s missing - but on what we’ve been overlooking in our own lives.
Old habits are hard to break, so in order to reroute your thinking and “write” more gratitude into your life, research suggests that forming a gratitude practice in the morning can help to reshape your outlook on the rest of the day.
Start with an early reminder. As soon as you wake up, set an alert on your phone, keep a journal by your bed, stick a post-it note to your bathroom mirror, or wear a MyIntent “GRATEFUL” bracelet.
Find a way to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for and reflect on this sentence:
I am grateful for today because __________.
Answering this forces you to pause and think about something good that could happen today. It doesn’t even have to be anything earth-shattering or huge - just let it be something that makes you look forward to the day ahead.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR TODAY BECAUSE:
- I get to go and workout.
- I am going to see my friends.
- I am going to watch a movie with my dog.
- I will have dinner with my family.
- I will hang out with my partner after work.
- My ability to get things done
- I have a job.
- I have a house.
- I woke up and I am healthy.
- It’s a beautiful day out today.
As you think about the things that you are able to do and express gratitude for them, then you are more likely to have a lasting optimistic outlook on the day ahead.
You can continue this practice when you go to bed too! End the day with gratitude. State 5 things that you were grateful for in your head, out loud, or with your partner.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR :
- My family
- My pet
- My partner
- My home
- My job
- My ability to get things done
- My health
- My strength
- My faith
Note how you felt about your day. Pay special attention to how this changes and note any patterns that pop up throughout your gratitude practice.
Additionally, you can spend a little extra time reflecting on gratitude by journaling to the following prompts:
- What is your favorite memory?
- What is the best compliment you've ever received?
- What was something that you felt great about doing - whether for yourself or for someone else?
- Who in your life can you count on no matter what?
- What do you love most about where you live? (ocean, mountains, trees, flowers, trails, sunsets…)
- What are 5 things that you are grateful for today?
- Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you or shaped who you are today:
- Write a thank you note to yourself acknowledging your strengths:
For more journaling prompts, use our MyIntent Question Card Deck to enhance your Gratitude practice:
Recently, we asked you: What was the best thing that happened this week?
You had some great reasons to celebrate! Here are a few of our favorites:
As you consistently acknowledge gratitude, it will start to become a natural part of your routine. You will start thinking less about all the things that you have to get done, how far you feel from your goals, or what could potentially go wrong and you will start to feel grounded in the present moment.
The key to any new routine or exercise is to be patient with yourself.
Don’t forget - this is your story to tell. The pen is in your hand.
How will you choose to write today?