Science has proven that gratitude is one of the best ways to improve levels of happiness, and reach new levels of success. Putting gratitude into practice on a consistent basis may prove to be challenging if you don’t know where to start. With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of 7 gratitude practices—one for each day of the week!
While every single idea on the list might not appeal to you, I urge you to try each one at least once. You can go through the list each week for as many weeks as possible, but the idea is to find at least one that you notice has a significant impact on your mood (joy and happiness level) and then continue it long-term so you form a new habit.
It has been proven that even elderly adults with long wired happiness set level points have been able to reset their happiness levels through the practice of simple new habits! Amazing right?! For more on the science of happiness and application to your own life, read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
If you want to try the habits for longer to see which resonates with you the most, you could always do the challenge for 7 weeks instead of 7 days. Just go through each gratitude practice for 7 days before moving onto the next.
7 Day Gratitude Challenge!
List 3 things you are grateful for that you have done or experienced over the last 24 hours. (I actually keep a Gratitude Journal in which I list 3 new things each day!)
1. I’m grateful that my husband was home early and we had more time to chat yesterday evening.
2. I’m grateful my new order of RxBars came in the mail.
3. I’m grateful I had the chance to talk to a patient and encourage her about some things she was making decisions on with her school plans.
Spend 2 minutes writing an email or text thanking someone for something they have done for you or telling them something you appreciate about them.
Thank you note to a coworker expressing how appreciative I was that he prepared a PowerPoint presentation to accompany a last minute talk I was asked to give. Made sure to thank him for his time and effort and let him know it was better than I would have even been able to do myself. Told him what an amazing surprise it was and that I was more confident in myself because the work he did made us look well prepared.
Perform a random act of kindness. Bonus if it is anonymous 😉
Clean the office microwave while nobody is around.
Find at least 2 positive things within anything negative that happens over the next 24 hours.
I get caught in traffic on the way home because of an accident. Initial negative thought is how I will be getting home late. 2 positive thoughts: I am blessed not to have been in an accident, and I will have more time in the car to listen to my favorite podcasts.
Any time you catch yourself wanting something you don’t have today, say a quick prayer of thankfulness to the Lord about what you do have. Tell Him why you appreciate what you have. List all the ways what you have adds value.
I see a house that is “nicer” than mine and wish I had it instead of mine. I recognize this thought and then thank the Lord for all the things I love about my house and list specifically the things that it has that I enjoy—the way my husband and I have had fun on projects together, how we have a house with lots of space, how we rarely ever lose power, the beautiful view in our back yard, etc.
Example 2: I see a car that I think is “better” than mine. I recognize the thought and thank the Lord for all the things I love about my car—the reliability to get me to and from work, the fact that it is paid off, how it has cool AC and the heater works, etc.
Think of a trait that you admire or something that strikes you about each person you encounter them today. If the opportunity presents itself, to pay them a genuine compliment, and share that thought with them.
Example 1: You stop for coffee and the barista asks how to spell your name when she writes it on the cup. Thank them for being considerate and compliment them for the attention to detail and how it made you feel.
Example 2: You see you coworker who always has such cute outfits. Compliment her on how she seems to always know just how to put things together in a way that not everyone can.
Spend a few minutes reliving one of your favorite memories or ask someone to tell you one of theirs.
Ask your spouse to tell you the things they remember about the first time you met.
Ask a coworker to tell you about their favorite childhood toy.
So there you have it! Seven simple and easy practices that you can implement right away in order to begin living an attitude of gratitude!
I pray these ideas are something that adds meaning and value to your life. Gratitude practices are something that have not only helped me to elevate my mood and mindset, but served to remind me to call attention to the blessings I would otherwise overlook.
If you want to share the love, use the hashtag #7DayGratitudeChallenge and tag me @CheeseGirlPA on Instagram or Kaci Cheeseman on Facebook in your social media photo. Tell me which practice you were doing and what you got out of it!
1/ Do you practice any of these habits already?
2/ Which one sounds like it would bring you the most joy?
3/ What gratitude practices you have that I didn’t cover?
Thanks to Amanda for hosting the linkup! While we are on the subject…I’m grateful that you host these each week and the way they build support within the blogging community. They have helped me to connect, learn, and grow!