Creating a Gratitude Practice Using Happiness Habits

Creating a Gratitude Practice Using Happiness Habits

Honoring our emotions and the ways that we choose to move through them is very important. 

The duality comes up so often with my coaching clients. We first identify all that is here — sadness and joy, anxiety and enthusiasm, fear and accomplishment. Then we allow ourselves to sit in the duality and not see it as opposition, but rather a connection to what is here in the moment. With this, we are practicing acceptance and honoring our authentic feelings. This allows us to still do what we want to do and be who we want to be.

I’ve connected strongly to a practice of gratitude in 2014. The title of my alarm was, “Name 3 things you’re grateful for.” Every morning this practice was how I started my day.

There are ways to train the brain, in order to create more gratitude.

Dr. Shawn Achor brings the science of happiness to life with four habits that make your life better based on research. I wanted to share these, but also acknowledge the fact that they may need some altering in order for those who can’t practice what they explain.

1. For two minutes each day, write down three things that you’re grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours.

This one is similar to the practice I’ve cultivated for a decade that I shared above. For those who can relate… there were days, weeks and months where I wasn’t able to write or type while my hand injuries were healing. So I instead practiced gratitude in my head or out loud daily.

What I found was that on challenging days, I needed my gratitude practice the most. I was often saying in my head, ‘I am grateful that this hand brace is allowing me time to heal,’ or ‘I am grateful that the sun is shining,’ or ‘I am grateful for the ability to hear this uplifting podcast.’

What we’ve learned is that, it isn’t about how we express gratitude or what we express, so long as we continue with it and make it a habit just as much as brushing your teeth.

2. A 15 minute brisk walk 4-5 times a week.

Hmm, I’m sure some of us are scratching our heads on this one. Any substitutes you ask? I have some ideas just from experience. When I was couch bound for months, I would visualize going for walks while listening to guided meditations. I was manifesting the days when my joints would be stable again, supported with healed/strong tissue.

But walking hasn’t always been an option for some, so ask yourself, what feels good for me? Can you find a way to create small movements in the body for 15 minutes a day and commit to this? If so, what would those practices be?

3. For 2 minutes a day, watch your breath go in and out.

This is very important because we are training our brains to do one thing at a time, instead of the usual multitasking and overstimulation that this current world steers us toward.

By taking just two minutes a day, you are allowing this time of peace and connection to the self and the present moment. I know many of us create habits around multitasking, but chances are, what we also find is that those tasks aren’t completed as well as they could be, had we given them our full, undivided attention.

This idea could look like pausing whatever you’re doing, closing your eyes and noticing how your breath feels as it moves in and out of the body.

4. Send a 2 minute text, email, letter, voice memo praising or thanking one new person for 21 days.

I found that after two weeks, I drew a blank of who else I could reach out to. This exercise can allow us to stretch ourselves and our circle. Creating space for people who you haven’t spoken to in a while and reconnecting. While doctors can be triggering, we could send a quick message to them even just acknowledging their care and dedication.

These gratitude steps will help improve levels of happiness, reduce stress and cortisol levels and even change the biochemicals of those around you.


Macy Cassera is a mental health coach, ambassador and freelance blog writer. She has prior experience as a model in New York City for fashion, commercial and parts modeling. Macy combines these passions with mental health awareness to underpin our sense of self and strive for a world of inclusivity and equitable representation. To get in touch with Macy, please send her an email or send a message through her official website or Instagram

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