Discover Yourself The Gratitude Series

How a daily Gratitude practice is the key to self-care

August 24, 2020
Gratitude

Gratitude and Self-care, two words that I feel are losing their impact yet are so important to living well. Over the last six months in particular as COVID-19 has affected our lives, it has tested our ability and strength to find things to be grateful for.

Stress and anxiety have overwhelmed many of us and it is understandable and easy to brush off the idea of finding things to be grateful for. Yet, it is during these times, that we need to focus on what we have that is positive in our lives and shift the focus from what is negatively impacting us.

My birthday was yesterday and I spent a lovely day with my family celebrating 63 years of life.  Spending time with my family is precious and I’m very grateful for these times as we create special memories together.  I’m also so grateful for the special birthday wishes I received from so many friends and readers.  I certainly feel very honoured and special to be surrounded by so much love!

Gratitude
My gorgeous grandsons Ethan and Elliot who light up my life

How a daily Gratitude practice is the key to self-care

It might not be obvious but once we start focusing on a daily gratitude practice our health and well-being improves and that is the key to self-care.

How?

  • It presents a mind shift from negative to positive. We feel uplifted and our mental mindset improves.
  • Mindful Awarenenss improves – We start to become more mindful and appreciate the little things in life that make our life better. The more you bring you attention to what you are grateful for the more gratitude will become part of your life.
  • Our happiness increases as we acknowledge the good things no matter how small
  • Our stress levels decrease
  • We feel more motivated and alive because we appreciate the gift of life
  • We are more aware of our surroundings as we appreciate the beauty of nature

Simple Mindful Gratitude Exercises

3 things I’m grateful fora daily practice

It only takes a few moments each day to find 3 things you are grateful for and write them down. This could be at the start of the day as part of your morning ritual and at the close of the day.

Write a gratitude letter

Is there someone in your life that has done something for you for which you have been so grateful yet never told them? This is the purpose of a gratitude letter. Write a letter to that person and then arrange to meet them to read the letter and express your gratitude in person. This exercise from The Greater Good in Action showed that:

  • it affirms the positives in your life and reminds you that others have cared about out.
  • it improves your relationships because you are expressing your gratitude in a thoughtful, deliberate way by writing it down and delivering it and reading it to the recipient.

The Thank you Exercise

  • Observe – focus on each time you say ‘thank you’. Is it is just from habit with no thought? How are you feeling when you say thank you? Is your mind elsewhere? Are you rushing to the next thing or are you focused on truly being grateful?
  • Pick one interaction a day. When you say ‘thank you’ stop for a moment and take note. Think intentionally about what you feel grateful for, Then say thank you.

Will you try one or all three of the Gratitude exercises? Do you practice daily Gratitude? What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude

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35 Comments

  • Reply Donna Connolly August 24, 2020 at 09:45

    HI, Sue – I completely agree with your thoughts on gratitude. I am reading this post while it is still your birthday here in Canada. I am extremely grateful for our friendship. I am also appreciative for all that you do for women Thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2020 at 11:15

      Likewise Donna! I’m so grateful you came into my life which is so much richer for having you here. xx

      • Reply Jennifer Jones August 25, 2020 at 08:33

        I agree with all you say Sue. I practice gratitude in a more subliminal way. I’ve never been able to get into the habit of putting my thoughts onto paper but I have them in my head. I’ll give it a go again as I’m sure actually writing your gratitude down is a more positive exercise. Today Sue I’m grateful for all you do to promote a positive community and for your willingness to be a support for those who need it.

      • Reply Donna Connolly August 26, 2020 at 03:47

        I can’t wait to catch up together again this evening (for me) morning (for you). See you soon!
        xx D

  • Reply Sandra Kelly August 24, 2020 at 09:58

    I’m grateful that I’ve come to the conclusion that looking for things to be grateful for doesn’t dismiss or minimise the ‘not so grateful experience’ you may be spring boarding your gratefulness search from. It’s valuable to recognise both and explore both. I’ve embraced the duality – even though I like one thought search better than the other. 😉

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2020 at 11:16

      A good point to make Sandra we do need to explore both. Each is a learning experience. x

      • Reply Sandra Kelly August 25, 2020 at 00:40

        Yes, that’s so true. Each is a learning experience for sure. 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 24, 2020 at 14:47

    Thanks Sue, it’s something we all should do more and I love your suggestions and examples. The letter is a great idea! happy birthday again and I’m very grateful we have managed to connect and meet up as good friends IRL as well as through our blogs. x #lifethisweek

    • Reply Debbie Harris August 26, 2020 at 13:30

      I’m back for the last #mlstl and sharing this Sue. You always make me think more about what I’m doing and why so many thanks for that!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 24, 2020 at 16:30

    Hi Sue – I like the idea of being more intentional with our gratitude – especially focusing on the things we say thankyou for without thinking about too deeply. I’ll have to give that one a go over the days ahead. I’m certainly very grateful for how unscathed we’ve been throughout this covid disaster (so far) and there are a lot of things I won’t be taking for granted any more!

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 26, 2020 at 13:51

      Hi BBB – just back for the last blast of #MLSTL – thanks again for sticking with me for 131 parties – and for being part of this great community we created xxx

  • Reply Michele Somerville August 25, 2020 at 10:28

    Great advice. Shared on my Facebook page. And (belated) birthday wishes. Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 28, 2020 at 12:52

      Thank so much for sharing Michele and for your birthday wishes. I’m grateful to have met such wonderful women through #MLSTL link up each week. x

  • Reply Bree August 26, 2020 at 06:27

    Happy Birthday …I am grateful for what you and Leanne have done in the last two years. Im grateful for the amazing strong women that I have had the pleasure of connecting with through here. I am grateful for wonderful long lasting friendship with my bestie. I have known her since we were 6, we are both 65 now. I know her and she knows me and we chat every day via messenger. Thank you so much xx #MLSTL – I will be back later to comment on other blogs and sharing (no power here for the day xx

  • Reply Natalie August 26, 2020 at 06:57

    Happy belated birthday, Sue! I take a few minutes each morning and evening to think about what I’m grateful for. I ‘d like to thank you and Leanne for maintaining the MLSTL link-up and building a supportive blogging community for the last 2.5 years. I’m grateful to get to know you via blogging and met you and Mike IRL. I hope we’ll meet again in person and have longer time to chat. Have a wonderful week!

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee August 26, 2020 at 07:12

    I like the Thank you exercise. We do just throw it out there with little thought. And Happy birthday. Thanks for hosting and good luck with everything. I’ll miss this linky

  • Reply Christina Henry August 26, 2020 at 07:18

    Hi Sue, your article has some great ideas for being grateful. I find if I go through a list of all I am grateful for when I’m on my morning walk it always boosts my mood. I’m always grateful for my friends and family, my health, my home, and that we live in a safe place. At the moment I’m grateful that we’re still relatively untouched by Covid-19 in the Gold Coast. I’m grateful for you and Leanne for this link up where I’ve met so many wonderful people. Thankyou so much for being so supportive of me too, regards Christina

  • Reply Joanne Tracey August 26, 2020 at 07:43

    I love Christie Hawke’s monthly thank you letters – it’s gratitude for the simple things, I think, that is important. I write 3 things a day in my journal & mostly it might just be, the sky is blue, the sunrise is gorgeous blah blah blah, but I do try and turn the negative into something to be grateful for…wherever possible.

  • Reply Helen August 26, 2020 at 10:49

    Happy belated birthday Sue! How lovely to be surrounded by family. Practicing gratitude is such a simple concept really, and we know from research the positive impacts it can have on us. I stopped keeping a gratitude journal a few years back but every night I reflect on my day and express gratitude. I look forward to staying connected via our blog posts. Helen

  • Reply Suger // Melissa Walker Horn August 26, 2020 at 17:07

    Look at those adorable little humans! Happy birthday to you. Thanks for the reminder to make gratitude a practice. Easy to forget sometimes, I think. 🙂

  • Reply Denyse Whelan August 26, 2020 at 17:13

    Lovely to see your gratitude post incorporating self-care. This has been my daily practice in 2020 and whilst some days are harder than others, there IS always something or someone to be grateful for.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek and next week the optional prompt is 35/51 Share Your Snaps #7 31.8.2020 and I hope to see you there too. Denyse.

  • Reply Anne from AnnesHappyClues August 26, 2020 at 19:29

    Hi Sue, Happy belated birthday! And what wonderful photos 🙂 Thank you for the post also which I love. It took me a long time to be able to truly practice gratitude and then self- care because of how hard I was on myself. You’re so right that it eventually becomes natural with practice. I love your point about observing when you say thank you and if it’s out of habit. I’m very typical English in the sense that I’m either apologising or thanking everyone without always thinking about it … I’ll consciously try to change that now – thank you.

  • Reply Jennifer August 26, 2020 at 19:59

    First, Happy Birthday! Second, I wrote a gratitude post this week, too. I have a phrase that I use every day in order to remind me to be thankful for everything. A meditation teacher once taught me that life is lived in the small moments. We tend to focus on the big moments like weddings, births, and deaths, but the real living is done in between those moments in the day to day. And we need to be as thankful for those day to day moments as we are for the big ones.

  • Reply Candi Randolph August 26, 2020 at 20:37

    Hi Sue, I loved this…your thoughts as well as the birthday photos. I can see the love on your face with the little ones. Being thankful every single day makes such a difference in how the day goes and flows. Doesn’t make it perfect, but it does give the right perspective no matter what happens. I like your challenge to think about why you say ‘thank you’ and what it really means. Sometimes the words just come out automatically, don’t they? I will pay more attention to my words. Sharing on SM xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 27, 2020 at 09:52

      Thank you Candi, the boys certainly light up my life. x

  • Reply CorinneRodrigues August 27, 2020 at 00:33

    Gratitude is what has kept me going through a lot of difficult situations, Sue and now more than ever in these times. I’m glad your birthday was special. You deserve it. Love those pictures with your grandchildren – that must have been the best part of your birthday!

  • Reply Rita August 27, 2020 at 04:36

    Thanks for the reminder, Sue. I needed that!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 27, 2020 at 09:30

      My pleasure Rita I’m glad I could be of service. Have a lovely day and I’m grateful for your comment x

  • Reply Nancy Andres August 27, 2020 at 07:34

    Yahoo Sue and Happy Birthday. Grateful to have met you.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan August 27, 2020 at 16:34

    Thank you Sue for this kind and welcoming space each Wednesday for Mid Life Share The Love.

    I will always appreciate this as I connected with new-to-me bloggers!

    Thanks for the shout-out about my Monday Link Up too.

    Take care,
    Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 30, 2020 at 14:29

      Thank you for being part of the community each week Denyse and I will still be linking up to your #lifethisweek. xx

  • Reply Michele Morin August 28, 2020 at 21:44

    This is excellent advice. I kept a daily gratitude journal for 6 years and it changed my brain.

  • Reply Christie Hawkes August 31, 2020 at 22:12

    Hello Sue. I have been listing three things for which I am grateful daily for several years now, and I have periodically written thank you notes, though I have never read them aloud to the recipient. For this week, I’ll focus on the practice of being mindful and intentional when I say the words “thank you.” Thank you for this important reminder. I am grateful for the inspiration you provide in so many of your posts. Have a gratitude filled day!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 4, 2020 at 05:49

      I love how we pick up ideas from each other through the blogging world Christie and always enjoy your Thank you Notes posts each month. Enjoy your weekend. x

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