Gratitude is defined as being thankful, easily showing appreciation, and returning kindness. Gratitude is a powerful emotion. When you experience gratitude you are open to opportunities for love, joy, and success. You begin to find the good in each moment. People who practice gratitude are generally happy because they see the positive in most negative situations.
Gratitude is easy when things are going well. When we need it the most, it can be difficult to find. Strong emotions such as grief, sadness, anxiety, or anger make it hard to find what is going right in life.
Getting in the habit of connecting and expressing gratitude is an excellent way to ensure you experience the benefits of gratitude when you need it most. Prayer, meditation, writing a thank you note, keeping a gratitude journal, taking a plant essence, or thanking someone mentally are all ways of practicing gratitude.
Steps to creating a gratitude journal adapted from How To Create A Powerful Gratitude Journal
Find a notebook, piece of paper, buy a nice journal, or use your note app on your phone.
Create a ritual. Rituals are a great way to tell your body mind and spirit to get into the mode of gratitude. Rituals help make anything more fun. Studies show rituals help you create healthy habits if you are consistent.
- Lighting a candle
- Play your favorite music
- Drink a cup of herbal tea
- Enjoy a relaxing bath
- Say a calming prayer
- Take a plant essence that promotes gratitude (see options below)
- Diffuse some calming essential oils like lavender, pine, jasmine, or rose.
Write when you are feeling anxious—focus on writing about things in your life that make you feel safe and happy.
End your day on a high note. Studies show journaling before bed helps you get deeper and more restful sleep. Your subconscious will process the information you journaled in your sleep for added stress reduction. Reading your entry in the morning can give you a great start to a new day.
If you can’t get to writing daily, aim for once a week. Even a few sentences once a week can make a difference.
Write about everything you are grateful for. See if anything in the categories below help you find different areas in your life you have gratitude toward.
- Favorite memories
Dive deep into one area of gratitude. The more detail you can write equals longer-lasting stress relief and happiness.
Remember to practice kindness to yourself. If you forget to journal, that’s OK. This is a step toward self-care and helping you feel better not another thing to beat yourself up about.
Plant essences are a powerful tool to connect with gratitude while writing in your gratitude journal. You can read the message, take the essence, or meditate on the image of the plant to connect to the plant’s healing properties. If none of these plant essences speak to you, look at all the images of the many plant essences available to see if another plant essence is right for you.
Dotted blazing star: Be yourself in all the different ways you are unique. Be confident in who you are. Own it. Celebrate it. Love every part of yourself especially the parts you do not show to others. See how you can appreciate the uniqueness of others. Realize that conformity is fear and owning your individuality leads to inner harmony. Spread happiness and cheer because you express your individuality. Dotted blazing star opens the heart causing a flood of emotions in the heart if it has been closed or shut down. (Reprinted from Honoring the messages in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Sweet leaf: Be at peace with the world and forget about saving everyone. Let the world take care of itself. Know your place, deep within, that grounds and connects you to the earth. Savor the sweetness, feeling the support of the earth. Know that you are one with the earth. This connection is available to everyone at all times. Sink into the bliss of being yourself, protecting this space with strong boundaries. Allow others to feel exactly what they are feeling without changing it or running to fix it. Everyone has tools, support, and resources. Keep your tools, support, and resources for yourself. There is enough to go around. Feel safe when strengthening your boundaries, having limits, and saying no when needed. Your beingness is for you to enjoy. (Reprinted from Honoring the messages in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Nasturtium: Awaken to your own source of inner radiance. A place of shining freely, openly, supporting growth and strength. Stay in your own power. Be true to yourself. Practice having faith and trusting. Practice compassion for yourself. Lose the judgment. Focus on connecting within yourself. Believe that life offers exactly what you are looking for. Keep growing, see the light. Enlightenment is the ability to see the light in each living being, human and all of nature.
Tap into your heart space. The place of kindness, gratitude, non-threatening, non-comparative, non-competing, and grace. Radiate abundance. Find the way to happiness. Find those areas in your being that tense when you think about being happy and the areas that relax. Both hold valuable information on your inner journey. (Reprinted from Honoring the messages in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Yucca: Yucca promotes a peaceful, protected, rooted environment. Go with the flow and feel the power of creativity moving through your body. Feel deeply ground by sitting with Yucca. Breathe and feel your energy drop into your feet and enter the ground. Allow me the honor of introducing you to your true self. Once grounded and more peaceful, the body can release past stressors. Everything is okay. Yucca promotes deep sleep, decreasing anxiety, and overthinking. (Reprinted from Honoring the messages in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Prickly Pear Cactus: Prickly Pear Cactus asks us to listen quietly. It softly and slowly helps you feel better about yourself. Quietly inviting you in to your center to feel what is right in your life: abundance and gratitude templates for feeling all the love and support you have in your life.
Supports meditation by holding in you in a space to slowly center. Heart opening and head opening making heart knowledge more important than head knowledge. See your surroundings. Be free and present in the experience to see that most thoughts are not necessary. See how you view stress and change how you interact with yourself, quieting the mind slowly and gently opening your heart. Reconnect with who you are and live from your center. Identify the patterns at every point, transition, or link in the cycle that keeps you in the loop and allow the pattern to unravel. (Reprinted from Honoring the messages in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)