My gratitude practice began over a decade ago -- when I was 13 years old -- with a rock.
I had just watched the movie The Secret with my Dad and shortly after he collected us some small rocks from the beach to use as our gratitude rocks.
I was at high school at the time and every day you could find my gratitude rock in my school uniform pocket or in my bag, and every time I would see or touch the rock I would think of something I was grateful for.
When I started doing this I discovered how incredibly powerful gratitude could be.
Over the past decade I've been devoted to practicing gratitude and based on my experience I truly believe that adding gratitude into your daily life is so powerful.
And on that note, here are eight tips to help you add more gratitude into your every day life:
1. Use an object as a reminder
Having a specific gratitude token is really useful for remembering to be grateful. It's the intention that matters so you could choose anything eg. a rock, crystal or a piece of jewellery. I recommend choosing something that's small so it's easy to keep on you each day.
2. Set up reminder systems
Whenever I talk to people about what they struggle with when it comes to practicing gratitude, most often they will say that they have trouble actually remembering to be grateful. So I highly recommend setting up at least one reminder system to help prompt you into being grateful each day. You could do this by setting an alarm on your phone, or sticking a post it note on your car dashboard or on the bathroom mirror.
3. Sandwich your day with gratitude
And by that I mean make gratitude the first and last thing you do each day. Beginning the day with gratitude is a great and positive way to start the day off and ending the day with gratitude can help bring you back into a place of appreciation no matter what has happened during the day.
4. Write it out
Thinking about what you're grateful for is awesome, but writing it down really helps to enhance your gratitude. It makes you actually take the time to reflect on what you're grateful for and spend a moment appreciating it. I find this helps me to "feel" my gratitude so much more than just thinking it. You might like to write your gratitudes down in a notebook, or even on random pieces of paper to put in a gratitude jar.
5. Explore why
A while ago my gratitude practice had become a little stagnate. Then I came across this awesome advice from Shawn Achor in Danielle Laporte's The Desire Map. He believes that this can happen because we tend to list the same things we're grateful for every single day. And instead suggests that we get more specific with what we're grateful for to create a deeper sense of appreciation. So instead of only focusing on what you're grateful for, you might like to consider why you're grateful for these things as well.
6. Use all opportunities
It's super easy to be grateful for the good and amazing things in our lives, but the truth is as humans we experience both good and bad things (sometimes even on a daily basis!) So to take your gratitude practice to the next level I recommend experimenting with how you can be grateful for the not-so-awesome stuff as well.
For example: When I was at university I was working on a challenging assignment that was really stressing me out. So I used gratitude to shift my mindset by reminding myself that I was actually grateful to being doing the assignment because it meant I had an opportunity to have university education and study something that I truly enjoy.
7. Share and declare
Communicating what you're grateful for is a really awesome way to add gratitude to your life. Not only will it help you strengthen your own gratitude practice, but it will also positively influence those around you as well. You might like to share what you're grateful for with a friend, or make this a dinner time ritual in your house, or you might like to share it on social media and ask others to do the same.
8. Give thanks to others
Being thankful is the actual expression of your gratitude. To add more gratitude into your life you might like to make an effort to thank people in your life. You could tell someone "thank you" in real life, or send them a text message or email, or make a phone call. Or for an extra special thank you (and my favourite) is to send someone a handwritten note to express your gratitude to them.
I have no doubt about it, if you devote yourself to adding more gratitude into your daily life -- it will actually change your life.
Chloe is a certified life coach, writer and blogger at One Infinite Life where it's her mission to inspire incredible young humans to transcend what they think is possible. She is also the creator of The 28 Day Gratitude Project and the super inspirational eBook Infinite: Take your life to the next level and beyond! Get your free copy here.