Move over gratitude journal—these three gratitude practices take one minute or less to practice but can totally transform your day and life, filling you with more peace, happiness, and appreciation for what you have, where you are, and who you’re doing life with.
In this article, I want to share three unconventional gratitude practices that have had a massive impact on my life. These practices have helped me embrace gratitude in a whole new way, bringing more joy, creativity, and fulfillment to every aspect of my life.
P.S. Prefer to Listen? Check out Episode 53 of the Bright Life Podcast: 3 Unconventional Gratitude Practices That Will Change Your Life.
Gratitude Practices You Have to Try Today
1. Freeze Frame the Moment
Life moves at lightning speed, and sometimes we forget to cherish the beauty of the present moment. My favorite way to reconnect with gratitude is by freeze-framing special moments in my life. Imagine taking a mental snapshot of a scene like a movie still.
I first practiced this when I was about to move from New York City—a city I loved but had to say goodbye to. Standing atop the Rockefeller Center building on my last night, 70 floors above the city, I reflected on the countless precious memories I had in the city. Walks to Central Park as the trees changed with the seasons; evenings spent at the office ordering Chinese food and cramming in a few last hours of work while the sun set over the Hudson River; nights dressed up in neighborhood bars that turned into stories over 4 a.m. pizza. As I did, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me, bringing closure and peace in the most unexpected way. I had this memory, this moment and all the others, freeze-framed in my mind so I would never have to be too far from them, no matter where I moved.
To try this practice yourself, pause and give thanks for the blessings in your life—whether it’s the love of your family, the beauty of nature, or the simple joys of everyday life. Freeze-frame this moment in your heart—you at this age in this moment in time—and you’ll find that even during chaos, gratitude can ground you and fill your soul with contentment.
2. Feel Gratitude Intensely
I used to keep a gratitude journal, quickly listing five things I was thankful for each day. But it wasn’t until I truly immersed myself in the emotion of gratitude that the magic happened. Feeling gratitude deeply is what elevated my practice to a whole new level.
For instance, when I expressed gratitude for my health, I didn’t just write it down; I felt it deeply. I appreciated the details. My pain-free body, its strength, and the energy that allows me to do the things I loved.
When I thought of my husband, I didn’t just check the box; I felt the warmth of his love, his unwavering support, and the beautiful memories we created together. This intense gratitude ignited a sense of contentment and joy that filled my heart.
Why not give it a try? Dive deeper into the things you appreciate in your life. Let the warmth of appreciation wash over you, leading to a more profound connection with the present moment and the people you cherish.
3. Turn Gratitude into Action
Gratitude isn’t just a feeling; it’s a force that can transform lives—ours and others. Best-selling author Jay Shetty once suggested always turning gratitude into action by expressing it directly to those who enrich your life. When you recall special moments with loved ones, don’t keep it to yourself—let them know how much their presence means to you.
Share your appreciation with others, and you’ll create a ripple effect of positivity and joy. Your actions will inspire more gratitude and kindness in the world, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by even more blessings to be thankful for.
Embracing gratitude has been a game-changer in my life. It has to be one of the best feelings there is, isn’t it? By freeze-framing the moments you’re thankful for, feeling gratitude more deeply, and turning gratitude into action, you can open your heart to a deeper sense of appreciation for life’s blessings all around you.
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