Thankful Tuesday Prompt: Oct 12th
As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” Little moments can change the tone of your whole day.
Creating a Habit of Gratitude
Gratitude, just like many practices in our life like exercising or eating a balanced diet, to see the benefits its important to remember that consistency is key. Creating a habit out of gratitude will make it an automatic practice and we will begin to notice a much more genuine appreciation for many parts of our lives. The habit of gratitude will also be a process of unlearning for many. Noticing things that we took for granted previously are given a space and time to be consciously recognized. And we might even notice how our outlook on that around us changes when engage in consistent gratitude practice.
The Mind is a Muscle
Yes, the brain is actually an organ, but our mind truly is a muscle. Just like the muscles in our arms, our mind responds well to practice.
An example I’ll give is when I bought a large cast iron pan to cook with. The first couple of times I lifted it to use it felt so heavy and took a lot of effort. As I used the pan more and more the lifting seemed to become easier and easier and then I got to the point where now I don’t even notice the weight of the pan. Now consider how this might be like any mental task we do. Gratitude might be very difficult for us at first, but as we practice more and more it will become easier and easier. Taking the effort in the beginning to actively notice what is around us makes it easier for us to practice gratitude on a consistent basis. As mentioned, the consistency is what creates the benefits. The benefits of gratitude practice will be discussed in the last Thankful Tuesday Prompt for October 26th and as you’ve consistently practiced you will probably already notice some benefits in your life.
Thankful Tuesday Prompt
Some suggestions to creating a consistent gratitude practice:
- Daily practice is ideal; however, find what works best for you and don’t make it a chore. Could be every day, every other day or once a week.
- Keep a visual reminder in your space that prompts you to engage in your gratitude practice.
- Try a gratitude journal. Whether it is physically writing in a journal or getting an app on your phone, there is a lot of benefit to writing down our gratitude.
- Keep a gratitude jar. Get an old mason jar and some scraps of paper and write down your gratitude and put it in the jar. Then when you may not be able to think of anything to write down, you can always go into the jar and read one of the slips of paper!