Gratitude as a Practice

I created the Gratitude Train App to help people who are on the go and want to establish a gratitude practice. The app is available for free in the App Store and Google Play. The practice of noticing to experience gratitude, remembering to express, and learning to dwell in gratitude is the most effective way to reduce suffering.

A gratitude practice does not require an app. Simply record your gratitude in a small notebook, or an index card, or a slip of paper in your wallet or purse will work. The physical act of putting pen to paper is the very best way to practice because writing activates different neural pathways and stimulates the brain, further grounding your gratitude practice.

Let me share what I do, and you can decide how you want to approach it.

When I wake up, before doing anything, I think about the fact that I’m grateful to be alive. I do that before placing my feet on the floor.

I meditate for a few minutes each day during the week and longer with a meditation group on Saturdays.

Then sometime in the morning, I write why I’m grateful. I give myself a bit of time to feel the gratitude so that my practice does not become rote. I allow myself to reflect and feel my thankfulness deeply.

Throughout the day, I have trained myself to notice places to be grateful. I practice by saying thank you aloud. If I find a parking space quickly, I will say thank you out loud. When I have a momentary fright, like being cut off in traffic, I will say thanks because I am very grateful that I didn’t get in an accident.

I remind myself that no matter what I am okay and it helps me get through the day. I give a genuine thank you to the bus driver, my secretary, the clerk and I allow myself to get excited that someone helped me. I find that it lifts my mood and the mood of people around me. When you concentrate on what’s going well, it enhances problem-solving abilities.

Finally at night, as I get in bed, I reflect on the day and note my gratitude. I encourage my readers to look for and acknowledge growth. When you do something well, it’s important to notice your progress; it will enhance continued growth. Gratitude is for everyone and can help anyone.

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