Confession: practicing gratitude is not my forté. Not even close.

My cornucopia (all the Thanksgiving references) of fortés include a mish-mash (potatoes!) of the following:

- Telling people the truth they don't wanna believe but desperately need to hear. (ex: "What if All the Good Guys are Taken?")

- Recommending dry shampoos (my priciest and most affordable favorites).

- Eating large quantities of artisanal cheese (I will know I've "made it" when I can afford this).

- Being a successful, reputable, relatable internet guru/nut job (most recent evidence).

As you can see, "PRACTICING GRATITUDE HARDCORE" is nowhere on that list.

Which means I've had to work at this whole "gratitude" thing and make it a habit. Which means I've tested out a variety of different methods. Which means I know exactly what practices actually help you create more appreciation, joy, and abundance in your already baller life (even if it doesn't feel particularly baller right now).

Here are my top 3 faaaaaavorite gratitude practices:


1) Stop, Drop, and Gratitude

Set an alarm on your phone twice daily with the label "Practice Gratitude", including a couple of fun emojis just for kicks. My personal fav's are the unicorn and the swirly star one.

When the alarm goes off, no matter where you, no matter what you're doing, pause and come up with one or two real-feeling things you can be grateful for in that moment.

The key words here are "real-feeling". Don't phone it in, really find it.

Are you stuck in traffic? Maybe you can you feel appreciation for having access to a car, or knowing how to drive. Or living somewhere where women are allowed to drive themselves (because that's a real thing).

Are you at the gym? Be grateful you can move and groove and break a sweat. That you have the time to do something great for your body. That you have the motivation and will power to get your ass there at all.

In every moment (even the boring crappy ones), there is always something to be grateful for. Find that something and really feel it. This practice takes focus and creativity, which is why I love it.

2) The Fast Five

Keep a stack of post-its and a fancy, fun pen (any of these will work) by your bed.

Before your feet hit the floor every morning, before you've started going through your to-do list for the day and thinking about how you shouldn't have snoozed four times (woops), make a super quick list of 5 things you're grateful for. For the first week or two I did this my list was the same:

- Family - Freedom - Hella comfy bed - Sunshine - Myself

Take the post-it with you and stick it to your mirror as you do your make-up, post it on the table next to your bowl of cereal, tuck it into your wallet or planner and keep it as a reminder throughout the day. Remember those things. During tough or trying moments, recall that you still have those things.

Getting good with gratitude is really just a practice in, "Hey, it's not so bad after all," and, "I'm luckier than I think I am." This particular exercise is great if you want to challenge yourself to count your blessings and remember what's really important in your life.

3) The Thoughtful Three

Go out and find a special, beautiful, "this makes my heart happy when I hold it" gratitude journal. (Am I the only person who will find any excuse to buy a new notebook? I absolutely love the feeling of fresh pages. Check these out! And these!)

In the evening when you're winding down, put your stupid freaking phone on the other side of the room, turn off your laptop, and snuggle in for a gratitude session.

Write down three things you are grateful for, and beneath each one list five reasons why you appreciate having it in your life. It might look something like this:

I'm grateful for my best friend Amelita because 1) We always have a fun time together and laugh our faces off. 2) I can call her with any problem and she will listen, never judge, and always help me feel better or find a solution. 3) She just gets me. 4) She makes me feel smart, appreciated, and understood. 5) We have the weirdest, most hilarious inside jokes.

Buh-BAM! This gratitude river runs deep, mothafucka.

I learned this practice last year via business maven and majesty, Marie Forleo. If you'd like to see her video on the topic, and exactly why it's so effective, click here.

Formal dare: get creative and thoughtful about what you have to be thankful for. It's easy to get caught up in a cycle of, "EVERYTHING SUCKS!" or "THIS ONE THING STILL ISN'T RIGHT!" but finding the silver lining (however slight it may be) helps keep perspective on all the shit that actually is working, and going great. Like your lungs working, and your heart pumping, and your effortless ability to blink so your eyes don't get super dried out. I'm serious, let's be grateful for that stuff. Why not?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating, and please know that I am massively thankful for you, specifically, dear reader. Virtual hugs! Gobble gobble.

BlogAmy YoungComment