Building the habit of gratitude is good for us, but the idea of continuously writing a list of what we’re grateful for can get daunting. Our entries can become repetitive, and it can be hard to think out of the box. Here are some ways to keep your practice fresh!
Embrace tiny details. Instead of being grateful for your co-worker, write down something specific that they did to make you feel this gratitude. Not only does this mix up your journaling, but over time you’ll find yourself observing tiny moments and details more and more.
Write a letter.
If you’re super grateful for someone this week, write them a letter that explains why you are so grateful (with bonus feel-good points if you read it out loud to them)! If you’re up for the challenge, here is a step-by-step guide for delivering a gratitude letter, written by Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology himself.
Instead of just writing a list, collect photos or physical evidence of something you appreciate. Having something tangible can ground your appreciation in reality, and make that moment easier to remember. (Also, not to plug Longwalks, but we keep your weekly gratitude photos for you in a beautiful collection… just saying).
Research suggests that we’re much more likely to truly feel gratitude when we dig deeper. Try pushing past what you’re grateful for by pondering what has happened in your life to grant you that experience. For example, let’s say you’re grateful for the weather. What has happened in your life that allows you to experience this weather? Perhaps you were able to move away to a college, which gave you friends in this city, who helped you find a job here, so you could afford to live here, where the weather is sunny.