I’m so over making gratitude lists. Anyone else?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not here to bash gratitude lists.
They have worked wonders in my life and I highly recommend them. The first time I ever made a gratitude list was after reading The Magic. I made one every day for 21 days straight and I remember being so lucky and happy during that time.
That was about 5 years ago, and since then I’ve made gratitude lists sporadically. But everytime I’ve tried to make a daily routine out of it, I’ve failed miserably.
I found that after a week or two of writing daily gratitude lists, my end result was a pile of basically near-identical lists. Although I couldn’t thank God for my family or my home often enough, the novelty wears off fast when you start to feel like you’re writing the same list day after day.
So I do like gratitude lists, but after writing hundreds of them during my lifetime, I’m over them.
But does that mean I stop practicing gratitude if I stop making gratitude lists?
There are so many different ways you can make gratitude a daily part of your life, and in today’s post, we’re getting into my personal faves.
Why we need to practice gratitude every day
Gratitude is a huge part of manifesting and using the law of attraction for 2 reasons:
1 – It’s one of the quickest ways to raise your vibration
When you’re feeling down because of everything that’s going wrong or everything you don’t have – taking a few moments to think about what you do have can make you feel so much better, almost instantly. It works so quickly in helping you to shift your perspective, that it can speed up your manifesting x10.
2 – it helps you to attract the things that you want
When it comes to the law of attraction, there’s naturally a focus on getting what you want.
But too much focus on that can slow the manifestation process right down because you’ll find yourself in a constant state of wanting – which attracts more want. This is a mindset block that can stop the law of attraction from working effectively – read more about that in this post.
When you acknowledge and focus on what you have by practising gratitude, you shift your state from wanting to having and therefore attract more things to have.
So, gratitude is very important.
And listing the things that you’re grateful for is a quick and easy way to incorporate gratitude into your life.
That’s why practically every law of attraction guide on earth tells you to make gratitude lists, but what about when that gets a bit old, like it has for me?!
Here are some more ways to add a touch of gratitude to some of the areas of life we often take for granted.
Showing gratitude for your possessions
We’re so lucky to have a roof over our head and a warm, cosy bed to sleep in every night. Not everyone has this luxury.
And for those of us who were born into this luck, it can be easy to see our homes as a given rather than a luxury.
Show appreciation for the home you live in by being house-proud. Look after it, make it look beautiful and treasure it.
This is practising gratitude. When don’t care about something, you toss it to the side and pay it no attention. When you love and appreciate something, you naturally look after it.
This goes for your clothes and shoes too. Keep them clean, organised and stored away neatly.
The same rules apply to your car if you drive. Clean it regularly, inside and out.
Don’t neglect your car’s maintenance – part of showing your appreciation for it is making sure it’s in good working condition all the time. The other day, a part in my car’s engine went. As soon as I put the key in the ignition and the engine failed, I thought about the fact that I hadn’t had it serviced for three years. I thought about how much I needed my car, how much I wanted to drive and how much easier it makes my life.
It’s funny how losing something we take for granted can have that effect. It’s a powerful lesson.
Cars also come with their own set of problems – it’s technology, they break down and they are expensive. Everyone that owns a car knows how damn easy they can be to complain about. As tempting as it can be to have a little whinge about the lack of parking, amount of traffic on the roads or the prices of insurance and tax, try to stop yourself and feel gratitude for what you’re getting from that car instead.
Yeah, it’s expensive – but it gives you the freedom to go anywhere you want, at any time you want.
Showing gratitude for people
Having family and good friends is such a blessing – humans need to feel close to others and we need love.
Family and friends are always number one on the gratitude lists I make. I would be nothing without the people in my life who uplift me, take care of me and love me.
Let your loved ones know you appreciate them.
Reach out to that friend that’s been crossing your mind – you know, the one that you’ve been too busy to call.
Lock in a date to meet up with that cousin you haven’t seen in a while.
Schedule meet-ups with your loved ones once a month. Make time for your family. Even the people you live with and see every day.
OK – life is busy, we know this. But we need to find a way to make time for the people we love – no ifs, buts or maybes.
We can’t ever take people for granted – life is too short and we need to savour every moment with our loved ones because we don’t really know how many more moments we’ll get.
And when those moments are up, there’s nothing more painful than wishing you made more time for someone you’ve lost when they were here.
On February 28th, 2015, I lost my aunt, one of the kindest, loveliest people EVER. I loved her so much.
She lived in Barbados so I only saw her once a year when I’d go to stay with her for a couple of weeks. I spent a lot of time with her out there, but when I was back home in England, I didn’t speak to her as much as I now realise I should have. I didn’t always make the effort to call when I thought about her – I’d just ask Mum if she’d spoken to her and how she was. She was always happy and fine, and so I guess I just thought it would always be that way.
I took her death really hard – that was my first experience of grief, and to be totally honest, I’m still in pain.
I wish that I had called her more. I wish that I had let her know how much I loved and appreciated her – I’m sure she knew, but if she were still here I’d tell her every day.
I wish that it hadn’t taken her death to wake me up to the fact that people don’t live forever, so we need to really appreciate every hug, every laugh, every minute spent with the people we love.
Make that call, send that text or email, make an effort to stay connected with the people you love.
When you make effort with the people in your life – that’s showing the universe that you appreciate them.
Showing gratitude for products and services
There are so many services we have access to on a daily basis and it can be really easy to take these for granted. So a way that I like to practice gratitude is going one step further than being grateful for what I’ve bought or used.
I also appreciate the person that made it happen – like the cab driver who drove me to my destination, or the barista that served me my coffee, the cashier who assisted me at checkout or the agent who handled my telephone query.
I show this appreciation by always being extra smiley and polite to people who people who work in customer service, and never forgetting to thank them.
Sometimes I’ll make conversation, ask them how they’re doing, show an interest in their lives or even just have a bit of banter with them to keep their day interesting.
Having worked in retail as a teenager, I know that not many people make an effort to do that. People can be quite rude. They look through you instead of at you, leave the store in a mess and take their frustrations out on you, as if you’re a robot and not a human being with feelings!
It might only be a job for that person, but their job is allowing me to use a service or buy a product, so I do feel appreciation for that person. Especially when I’m their 50th customer of the day and they still serve me with a smile.
Another way I like to show my appreciation for the products and services I use is by paying my bills on time, rather than feeling frustrated every time they come through. This is a great way to put you in alignment with manifesting more money too.
I love my phone. My phone connects me to the people I love, provides me with entertainment, it has all my photos and music stored on it. I’d kinda be lost without it – so I put that loving energy into the universe, not only by treating it well but by making sure it’s paid for on time, every month.
When you stay on top of your outgoings and ensure you pay for everything you use on time – you’re telling the universe:
‘I appreciate this thing. I take my ownership of it seriously, and I want to continue owning it.’
Showing gratitude for our planet
The shining sun, the plants and trees, the rain that falls and the wind that blows – all these things have a purpose and those purposes all boil down to giving us life.
Our planet is amazing.
Think about all the natural blessings it gives us that we consume every day, like water, fruit and vegetables.
These are things that we just grab from our local market and think nothing of. But we should really make a point of appreciating the Earth and treating it with respect because it provides the nourishment we need to survive here.
There are things that each and every one of us could do to reduce our carbon footprint and show our planet some love.
Most of us do what we can. I’m no saint but I do like to show gratitude for the Earth by not littering, switching off devices to save power, not using so much paper, recycling and just generally not being an asshole when I can help it.
Of course, there’s always more I could do. There’s always more anyone could do, but as long as we all make an effort to do our bit, we can collectively show this planet the appreciation it deserves.
Gratitude is more than thinking about the things we appreciate and writing them down every so often. It’s about treating those things with love and care and not taking them for granted – consistently. Every time you treat something with appreciation, you’re sending a powerful message to the universe and attracting more things to appreciate into your life.
How do you practice gratitude? Let me know in the comments! Also – come join me on Instagram @spiritually.empowered – we talk about gratitude a lot on there and I also post daily inspirational messages and quotes.
Sooo much love to you xxx