illuminated gratitude quote on board

Don’t Let Gratitude Get Boring: How To Keep It Exciting

So, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like practicing gratitude can get pretty repetitive and boring. Especially if you practice it daily, like is suggested. It just gets annoying after a while. Well, I’m excited for this post to work through breaking down one of the biggest barriers to practicing gratitude.  

This blog post is a transcript of the podcast episode if you would like to read along, or go ahead and click play below to listen!

Experts say you should write down 3 things a day that you are grateful for. Preferably you write these down first thing in the morning before you have time to be exposed to stressors or concerns of the day. Well, here are the most common things people write down when they do this. I’m pretty confident that everything on this list has showed up on your list as well.

You are thankful for:

  • your family
  • your friends
  • your health
  • your job
  • your home
  • the food to eat
  • your morning coffee
  • nice weather
  • Friday and/or the weekend
  • your pet

And then you repeat this list with slight variations of each of those items. Am I right? 

This list can get soooo boring if you do this over and over again, and it’s actually not building a sense of gratitude in the correct way. Now don’t get me wrong, you absolutely should be thankful and grateful for every single one of those things. So how do we do it the right way?

woman with hands on heart looking to the sky practicing gratitude

Make Gratitude More Fun

Here’s the first step: stop being so generic! Yes you are grateful for your health, but what specifically about your health? Yes, you are thankful for your family and friends, but how about instead of just writing down their names, you write down something nice that one of those people did for you? Yes, you are thankful for the food you get to eat, but how about instead you write down the amazingly buttery, flaky, chocolate croissant you enjoyed while sitting on a park bench? See the difference?

What if you imagined your gratitude list as a creative writing lesson? Use more adjectives, use more descriptive words, use more words from the heart to describe the things you’re thankful for. Yeah, I know, this can sometimes be hard to do first thing in the morning before you’ve had your coffee, but I promise, it will put so much more into perspective. 

On a similar note, this will help you when you’re feeling down and it just feels impossible to find something good in your life to put on the list. I was talking to a client recently who said, you know, everything kind of just sucks right now, I don’t know what to even be thankful for. I said, just start small, and don’t force it. If you’re feeling isolated from your friends and family at the moment, you don’t need to feel obligated to write them down. You can literally just be grateful for your favorite stretchy pants if that’s what is bringing you comfort in that moment. There is no pressure to make your gratitude list a grand gesture every single day. 

This is where you build real, sincere, gratitude. Today it might be your stretchy pants. Tomorrow it could be that you remembered to pack your lunch. The next day maybe you saw a super cute dog that made you smile. Or maybe you simply loved the ending to a cliff-hanger episode of your favorite show. The things that you observe and feel that leave an impact on you throughout the day are what you should be truly thankful for. Not those generic go-to topics. The real things are are true and present in your own life. It may feel hard sometimes to think of something, but I promise you, there is always something. 

Inspire Your Creativity

Your mindful action for this week is to make your gratitude list less boring! Be creative! Say how you truly feel! Don’t filter your list to what you think you should be saying. Say what you want to say. This is your moment for reflection. Own it and say whatever seemingly dumb idea pops into your head. This way is so much more fun. Trust me. 

Oh, and by the way, have we mentioned yet that this upcoming week is Thanksgiving in the U.S.? This is the PERFECT time for you to practice this! I’m going to challenge you this week on social media to come up with some pretty creative, adjective-heavy, ways to describe what you’re thankful for. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! 

Before we head into our meditation, I want to prep you with what the mantra will be. This week, your mantra is:  I open my heart and invite gratitude into my life. 

Now it’s that time. So get comfortable, and start to slow your thoughts and your breath, and let’s begin our meditation on gratitude and thanks giving. 

woman sitting on rocks looking at the ocean at sunset with hands in the shape of a heart

Meditation For Giving Thanks

[meditation script]

Go ahead and focus on your body, grounded in the place that you are sitting. The stillness both within, and surrounding you. Adjust your posture to elongate the spine. Neck straight, head balanced evening on your body. chin slightly pulled in to get rid of that crease in the back of your neck. Eyes closed, or a soft gaze downward. And breathe. 

There is an article on the Harvard Health website titled “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier”. So we are going to explore this concept. During this meditation, I am going to ask you to think about the different reasons that you say thank you. Not only do we say thank you out of politeness, but we also say it to show appreciation and acknowledgement toward another person. 

How good does it make you feel when someone says thank you to you? That they noticed your actions, and saw you, and welcomed your presence. Sometimes these simple words can help connect people. And that’s what you need to start doing for yourself. Thank yourself for everything you do for you. 

So let’s start with those nice long breaths together. 

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Continue on your own for a moment. 

I am breathing in. I am breathing out. I am breathing in. I am breathing out. 

Let’s start small. Think about the times that you tend to say thank you to a stranger. What type of action is followed-up by a thank you from you? 

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

Now, think about some times that you often say thank you to your loved ones. What type of vibe, or emotion, is usually surrounding that moment? 

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

And finally, do you ever thank yourself? What type of thing would cause you to feel gratitude toward yourself?

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

Now let’s invite our mantra into our life for this upcoming week. You can recite it aloud with me or silently to yourself. 

I open my heart and invite gratitude into my life. 

I open my heart and invite gratitude into my life. 

I open my heart and invite gratitude into my life. 

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so grateful for you and our time here together. I hope the message this week brings you a sense of peace and calm as we step into the holiday season and is a reminder to stay true to yourself, not matter what. 

Peace, Love, Öm, and give thanks. 

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