I have a 'gratitude practice' and I've kind of been making fun of it myself for easy laughs at work ... but actually it's important to me and is a habit that subtly shifts one's focus from grumble to grateful.
I do it the simplest way possible - I have an alarm set (for 5pm which is why I'm at work when I do it - I might have to switch to an early morning or later night practice to do it with full focus).
And it takes literally seconds - it's all about taking a moment to be happy and grateful 'for small mercies' as the old saying goes.
There's a lot in that saying.
And there's a lot in choosing to do this practice at a regular time.
Yeah, some days you'll skip it. Some you won't feel grateful at all (but I'd say still do it if you can DESPITE not feeling like you're in 'the zone' for gratitude. So what? Do it anyway.
Just five things you're happy and grateful for.
Small things, big things, when-your-mind-goes-completely-blank (like mine did today and I declared I was happy and grateful for Jaffa Cakes) - who cares anyway?
It's kind of fun, it's kind of grounding, it's a great practice for (most of us) to see that we lack actually very little.
There are some things you might be grateful for every single day and that's fine.
You might choose five totally random things that happened that day, and that's fine too.
No rules, just taking a few minutes to note what you're happy and grateful for.
It's so easy to grumble, to moan and it's so easy to be mocked for being any sort of 'Pollyanna'.
This practice isn't about that at all.
It's about tuning in, just briefly, to feel what is actually a very deep and important emotion - in recognising gratitude.
And, as with all habits, you start to build it up, and notice more and notice when you are feeling gratitude (and it's not a feeling we're usually very used to).
It calms, centres, grounds me, to do this.
* I am happy and grateful for all the interest from the most perfect potential clients/guests for my (inaugaural) Tiniest Thai retreat(ie) in Spain in September - honestly so excited in the most calm, wonderful way
* I am happy and grateful for my health today, I really feel a need to allow in full gratitude for it and not take it for granted
* OK, I'm happy and grateful for Jaffa Cakes! AND I achieved the Holy Grail of Jaffa-Cake-Eating by freeing the orange jelly
* I'm happy and grateful for all my friends who are supporting me and enthusiastic and want to come on my retreat - my amazing community of fabulous friends
* I am happy and grateful that today my mum has had some health help and such a simple thing as getting a new prescription for her glasses might make such a difference to her life
See how easy it is to quickly write down five?
I think writing them is important, it does something different to how you feel and recognise them ... just start using a 'notes' app or google keep or - ha (I never even think of it!) write them in an actual journal. (Say whaaaaat?!!)
I am so grateful to be planning this first Tiniest Thai Retreat in Spain in September (and yes, starting this practice is just one of the new habits we'll be exploring during our time together).
I am so grateful that one perfect wonderful guest has signed up - and yet also grateful that there are still THREE places left to join us.