Express Morning Gratitude Each Day This Week
- Upon waking, create a mental list of things for which you are grateful.
- The list can be as long or as short as you like. We recommend finding at least three things.
- You should give yourself credit for this only if you do it within an hour of waking.*
*While gratitude at any point of the day is a good thing, this practice is designed to help you start your day in a particular way. The reason you give yourself credit only if this is done within the first hour is not that gratitude only works early in the morning, but because the practice is as much about setting up your day intentionally as it is about gratitude.
Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.
Why Is This Practice Important?
There are oh-so-many ways to get the day started. It can be an automatic process, with its tone and energy determined by the first thoughts you have when your eyes open, or even the thoughts you had right before you went to sleep.
If you’re not intentional about how you begin your day, you will get what comes your way. Your mind will decide your mood before you even know what’s happening.
Consider how easy it is to start the day in a less-than-optimal state of mind. Thoughts about how many things need to get done, how little sleep you got, or what somebody said yesterday that rubbed you the wrong way rush into your mind like a flash flood as soon as you wake. This sets you off on a particular track that can easily influence your experience for the rest of the day.
Imagine instead what your day could be like if you put aside any thoughts or feelings that rush in and gave a moment to acknowledge the good reasons to be awake, the things that make you happy, or that make the world a better place.
Yes, this week’s practice is an exercise in morning gratitude, but it is also about practicing setting your own mood and energy, taking responsibility for and control over how you experience the world.
For More on This Practice
It’s one thing to be grateful when life is going “right.” It’s far harder to express gratitude when life is throwing one challenge after another at us.
Teacher, speaker, and psychotherapist, Megan Devine, believes that gratitude is one of the keys to getting through the hardest times in our lives, including the loss of someone or something we love. She has dedicated herself to helping people find a new way to deal with loss that honors their experience without trying to “solve” grief.
To learn more about Megan’s thoughts on gratitude, listen to her podcast discussion with Andy.