The Act of Practicing Gratitude (3 Simple, yet Powerful Ways)

In this episode I taker you through 3 very simple ways that you can practice gratitude and start to live more whole heatedly. Gratitude is a HUGE part of becoming happy again and I found that just by keeping a journal I not only started to look for opportunities to be grateful but these things started to find me.

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Full Transcription Below:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hayden Wilson here for Learn Share Grow live. Today I have a great episode which is all about the practice of gratitude. Let me tell you straight off the bat, becoming a more grateful person has helped my happiness levels and everyone who has been surveyed and asked if they are a whole hearted person and if they enjoy life and if they’re happy, they practice this attitude of gratitude.

I know it’s a bit airy fairy and it’s been publicised and maybe a bit butchered by different people but I can tell you from personal experience that by practising some of the stuff that I will show you today, you’re going to become a lot more aware of the great things in life that people are doing for you that may have previously gone unnoticed. It’s not by any fault of your own, it’s just that you didn’t have that level of awareness.

The reason that we want to practice gratitude is to be a more whole hearted person and you’ll find that when you do start practising these different techniques that I’m going to show you, not only are you going to start appreciating the things that were maybe getting lost or left behind, but you will also start seeking other ways that you can start helping people and living a life that’s congruent with your values and helping others in the process.

The first thing is to have a gratitude journal. I have one and it has helped greatly. Every morning, and you can do this at night time if you like, but every morning I’ll get up – and I’ve got it here today, I bought this for $4 or $5 from Target – and I’ll just write. This particular day I was feeling pretty ambitious and I’ve got 10 items here. I’ll just read out a couple because they could be relevant and these are the kind of ideas that you might like to put in there. Honestly, I just put anything, anything that I’m grateful for. So I’ve got here, the calm app for having beautiful, soothing rain noises. I’ve also got the staff at Lux for great service and friendliness – it’s a great cafe in Brunswick. I’ve got Charles Duhigg for a book that he wrote and another one is for the beautiful coffee that I’m currently drinking. These are the types of things that you can put in your gratitude journal. You’ll then start to notice a ton of different stuff within your life that you’ll really start appreciating and that’s going to make you a lot happier and give you a sense of appreciation for things that you wouldn’t normally appreciate.

The second thing that you might like to do to increase your gratitude is to story tell. It might be at the dinner table, it might be before bed with a loved one – just tell people what you really think of them and what you’re grateful for, and again, having that attitude within your life is really going to help yourself and others to become more aware. All we’re trying to do, and I know mindfulness tends to be a buzzword right now, but that’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re becoming more mindful of what we can appreciate and the different elements of our life. So story telling is a terrific way.

The third one that I’ve got here is to write a letter, or the other thing that you might like to do is draw a picture. To give you an example, I think it goes back about eight years ago I was in this phase where I bought some crayons and I wanted to draw pictures for people of experiences and different parts of our lives that we really enjoyed. One was with my friend Sean. We used to play downball at school and so I used to draw these pictures. One particular picture was Sean and I playing downball or four square, whatever you want to call it. This was a great time in our lives and there were less responsibilities than now, but just by drawing this picture and paying attention to specific details such as a particular hat that he used to wear or the shoes that I would wear. By making these little differences, these little things noticed, you’re just drawing a picture and you don’t really know what it could mean to someone, but when I presented it to him, he’s carried that – and I saw it in his house the other week – he’s carried it for maybe six or seven different moves so you can tell how much Sean really appreciates this picture because that was the gratitude, that’s what it meant to me, those times of what it meant to me, really meant something to him and us as friends. This is the type of thing, you can draw a picture for someone – not only are you being creative, but you’re also showcasing what you like to do and what the friendship means to you. If you aren’t graphically inclined, and don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely not, but I tried my best so whatever – you might like to write a letter and express some gratitude for the thing or things that you like about that person, or behaviours, or a funny story, or time that you spent together that you’re really grateful for. Just by doing this is going to raise your awareness, your brain will start to seek and oscillate towards and find new opportunities to become grateful. I’ve found that this has been a game changer for me so I want you to start being more mindful, think about the different gratitude practices that you like to do. I want you to grab a journal, pick up a journal from Office Works, Target, K-Mart, the newsagent or the post office, whatever – grab a journal and start writing in it every single day, 5 of 10 gratefuls or as many you can think of, and you’re going to find that this is really going to help.

Let me know if you have any questions, otherwise jump over to hayenwilson.com.au. This has been Learn Share Grow. Catch you next time.