Six Ways to Practice Gratitude—Every Day
Kelly Gardner, a licensed professional counselor, YogaFit Master Trainer, and creator of YogaFit’s Positive Psychology training workshop, shares her tips on how to express gratitude every day...in your practice and in your life.
- Start With Yourself. Begin your day by feeling grateful for what you have. With your eyes closed, quietly observe your thoughts, allowing yourself to feel what you feel without limiting or resisting. And then, finally, take a few moments to mentally and gratefully acknowledge everything that has brought you to this moment.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal. Almost universally recommended by gratitude experts, this early-morning or just-before-bed exercise helps you remember the moments during your day in which you felt grateful; times when you made others smile or lightened their load; people in your life for whom you are grateful.
- Dedicate Your Practice to Someone in Need. When you hit the mat for your daily yoga, offer the benefits of that practice to someone who could use a little extra help. Bring that person into your heart and move through your poses for them.
- Practice Yoga From a Place of Gratitude. When you engage all your senses in yoga—seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting—you become much more aware of everything around you. Approaching your day with such awareness can help you remember to notice what you’re grateful for.
- Express Your Gratitude. Don’t keep it to yourself! Remember to tell people how they’ve made you feel and show your appreciation in little ways.
- Focus on What You Already Have. As Patanjali reminds us in the Yoga Sutras (2:16), pain that has not yet come is avoidable. That means, obsessing about what you don’t have will only make you anxious or depressed. So come back to what’s true for you right now, in this moment. He also says it’s a whole lot easier to be grateful for what you do have when you stop wanting, needing, grasping for things you don’t have (2:37).
Want more? Join Kelly in January at YogaFit’s MBF Conference/Palm Springs, where she’ll explore more ways to develop gratitude in your own life and offer your students and private clients evidence-based ways to increase their own happiness.