A gratitude practice is an exercise in shifting awareness.
This is something to do every day, once a day (I like to do it either first thing in the morning or at night before bed, but you can do it at any time).
Sit or lie somewhere quiet and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and feel the air entering and leaving your lungs. Feel your body expanding and contracting with those breaths.
Now place your hand over your heart and think of something that made you happy today. It can be something simple, like a cup of tea you had, or something huge like a promotion. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, just that you felt it.
If there is truly nothing that you can think of, then think back to a time in your life when you were happy, and think of something you were grateful for then.
Now, feel that thing, how beautiful it was, and feel grateful for it. Feel this gratitude and how it comes from your body, from your chest, and radiates outwards. It’s a warmth, a radiance, that comes from your center and spreads out.
Do this for a minute or so.
Next, pick another thing, either today or recently, or that’s in your life in general. And repeat the process: feel the gratitude in your body, radiating out from your center. Once again, do this for a minute.
Now, pick one more thing, and do this again, once again feeling the gratitude in your body, and letting it radiate from your heart.
When you are done, you can write down the things that you’re grateful for if you’d like something to look back at, or just carry on with your day.
Things to pay attention to:
Sometimes we say we are grateful for things in our brains, but when we feel gratitude in our bodies, it’s much more tangible. Pay attention to things you think you might be grateful for, and how it feels in your body compared to things you are truly grateful for. As an experiment try this with something you’re not actually grateful for and see if you can feel the difference physically.