How might your life change by creating a daily gratitude list? We are living in curious, stressful times right now. These are the moments that will go down in history forever. As people hunker down in their homes to try to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic, the world outside stands still.
Schools and universities are canceled or operating on distance learning. People are laid off from their jobs. Many cities and towns are on complete lockdown. And the death count goes up every day. This might feel like a hard time to feel grateful as the fear creeps into our daily lives. However, finding your gratitude may be just the thing to help keep you centered and in a positive place, no matter what you’re going through.
When the world outside seems a scary place, it can be difficult to find gratitude in it, but it’s always there. We can always find something to be grateful for, and when we make this a daily practice, it can help us – even in the most troubling of times. Did you know that you can even train your brain to be happier with gratitude?
Making a daily gratitude list is one way to do this.
What is a Gratitude List?
So, what is a gratitude list anyway? The answer is truly as simple as just writing down the things that you have to feel thankful for. And in trying times, that might feel more challenging than when things are going great. However, that’s when you really need to lean on gratitude the most.
The purpose of a daily gratitude list is to help you focus on the things in life that bring you joy, and also the things you are appreciative of. It’s easy to express gratitude for the big events that make you happy.
However, the small things that play a big role in your life often get overlooked due to busy schedules and hectic lifestyles. Creating a daily gratitude list draws attention to all things good in life, big and small, making it a great way to practice gratitude.
Being thankful creates positive energy that’s uplifting and powerful enough to change your view on life. You’ll feel happier and more appreciative of the things you’ve accomplished and acquired so far. The more grateful you are, the more positive energy you bring into your life. Yes, even during a global crisis.
Here are a few great tips to help you get started:
- Gather your supplies – Choose a notepad or journal and a good writing pen to use just for the list. Writing your list by hand might make you feel more connected but if you prefer, use a computer or mobile device. Choose whichever method suits you best. Using a mobile device might even be better if you’re always on the go.
- Place both pen and pad in a convenient location – If you’re running all around the house looking for your supplies it’s easy to get distracted. Having everything conveniently located saves you time and it encourages you to write your list because it’s right there reminding you.
- Schedule time to write – If you think you’ll make your list sometime during the day when you have a minute, you may find it harder to get around to it than you thought. Life is busy and often hectic. It can be difficult working on something in your already overbooked schedule unless you make time for it in advance.
- Set a goal – Writing down five to ten things you’re thankful for in a day is a good goal. It’s important to take a few minutes to think about and focus on the reason why you are putting something on the list. It’ll help you understand the significance of the event and how it impacted your life. If you go over ten things a day, you may not have time to do that and it might hinder the experience.
What to Put on Your Gratitude List
- Start out small – When you first begin creating your list, you might find it hard to come up with things to write about. Some days will be harder than others. So, start out small by writing down two things you’re thankful for each day. Add one thing to the list each week until you reach your goal.
- Anything can go on the list – When making your list, any topic is appropriate if it’s something that you’re thankful for. Write about family, friends, work or how the sun feels shining on your face. Anything that’s good in your life is acceptable no matter how small it may seem.
- Keep the list simple at first – Use short words or phrases to describe what you’re thankful for when starting out to help ensure you take time to make the list. Later, when you’re comfortable and it’s a secure part of your routine, start adding some details to give the events more meaning.
- Get specific – Being specific gives you more to be grateful for. It mixes things up a bit and makes writing the list a little more exciting. For example, instead of saying you’re grateful for your family, pick a different family member each day and write a few good things about that person. Then choose another one the next day and so on. Listing specific things also helps you take a closer look at why you’re grateful for these things.
- Have fun with it – Your gratitude list is for your eyes only so get a little creative with it if it makes it easier for you to write. Doodle on the pages, draw cartoon characters or sketches to go with your list, or make it all look professional. Whatever suits you best and keeps you inspired is what you should do.
Review Your Gratitude List
You can learn a lot by going over your lists every couple of weeks to see how things have changed during that time. Has seeing these things written down made a difference in your life?
If so, in what ways?
How much have you grown over the weeks, months, and even years?
A daily gratitude list is personal and since we all lead different lives, everyone will be different. Still, the tips above will help you get started until making your list becomes a habit.
Once you begin enjoying the benefits, add your own special touch and ideas to your gratitude list to make it even more special. It’s an absolutely life-changing experience.
That’s a good practice at any time, but most especially now.
I completely agree! Thank you so much for stopping by.
I had a magnetic gratitude board a long time ago, It held little paper scraps, ticket stubs, etc, which represented events I felt grateful for. I know learned that gratitude doesn’t just involve events but encompasses everything I can notice. I send out my mental thank-yous daily now for many things.
I love this so much! I use my journal mostly, but I also hang up some things that are special on a board. It’s such a great practice to do daily. It helps me keep my spirits up, no matter what is going on in life.
This pandemic is bound to cause anxiety. I think making a gratitude list (or journal) helps to keep us grounded. Great tips in your article.
Thank you so much! I hope some people pick it up now and then maintain it even after this because it’s very helpful. Appreciate you stopping by, Tania!
I review a list of things I’m grateful for every morning before I get out of bed and again at night before I fall asleep. I do like the idea of writing them down. I may try to start that habit.
I really love this! I’m glad you already do it as a daily mindful practice. One thing that I like about writing it down is going back months or even years later and seeing my old lists.