Did you know that gratitude is powerful? I used to think that being grateful somehow made me weak. Or that if I expressed gratitude for things that I was somehow selfish or vain, or that the things for which I was grateful would be taken away. I was so wrong. In fact, gratitude is what powerful people practice. Giving thanks is what selfless people do. And being grateful magnifies and multiplies your blessings. It’s true! And for sure, gratitude is one way to say hurray inside, outside, and underneath™.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
― Brené Brown
There are many different ways in which to practice gratitude. You can make it a daily practice, you can spend hours diving deep into gratitude. And. You can keep it simple! The ideas below are a few of the ways in which I practice gratitude on a regular basis by keeping it easy. Whether I’m walking down the street, sitting on the subway, or waiting for a meeting – I use these simple methods of expressing gratitude regularly. The benefits are amazing!
Most often I use gratitude when I’m feeling anxious. I also express gratitude when I want to magnify my blessings and attract more abundance. And I even say thanks for the tough stuff! As in, I practice gratitude for seemingly difficult experiences and people in my life. Mostly because of the learning and growth they bring. Sometimes that I lived through it and am stronger on the other side. The truth is, we can find gratitude in the big and little things, and extraordinary and the mundane, and the inside (our relationship with ourselves, our emotions, and diving guidance), outside (our relationship with others and the things around us, how we present to the world), and underneath (our relationship with our bodies and what we wear under our clothes)™. Gratitude = hurray!
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Simple Gratitude Practices You Can Do Right Now
Pick a letter
Any letter. Then start with that letter and list one thing for each consecutive letter in the alphabet for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude and counting your blessings is one of the easiest ways to get out of a funk. Commit to at least listing 10, or do all 26! I often practice this one as I’m trying to drift off to sleep. When my mind starts to let thoughts like “you didn’t do enough today” or “here are 45 things to worry about” creep in, I count blessings instead of sheep. I let go of those untrue, unhelpful thoughts and latch on to gratitude. Usually, I get about 5 or 6 letters in and get sleepy. Sometimes, my husband and I will take turns and alternate who gets which letter. You can even do this anagram style! Take a word, like “Hurray” or your name, and find something that starts with each letter of that word for which you are grateful. Ultimately, it’s an easy and fun way to say hurray!
Though I try my best to treat my body like my best friend, I don’t always do so. I often take my able, mostly healthy, very beautiful body for granted. Whatever your current physical state or ability, it can be very liberating to find gratitude for your body and its shape, functions, and capabilities. Start by scanning from the top of your head and work your way down. Saying things like “I’m so grateful for my brain and my ability to think” and “I’m grateful for my heart which continuously beats for me. I’m alive!” and “I’m so grateful for the places my legs can carry me” and “I’m so grateful that my breath can help me talk, sing, or slow down my mind”. Pay attention to not just your body’s abilities but also the joy and emotions that your body can provide for you. Part by part, you can say thanks for both the biological and more emotional ways in which your body is there for you.
What are you wearing?
For sure there’s an opportunity here to be thankful that you have clothes to wear. Yes! The ability to clothe ourselves is a basic necessity and blessing that not everyone has. Add in the fact that in the USA we also have the freedom to adorn and dress ourselves in any way that we want. Our clothing can be an expression of who we are. What a joy! And, you can go beyond that.
I am a VERY blessed person when it comes to being gifted items. As an influencer and writer, I am often gifted things to wear and share. In addition, some of my in-law’s love languages are gifts. So I love to go item by item of the clothing, accessories, and undergarments that I’m wearing and say thanks for the gift, and the love that person passed on to me. Whether it was a PR company or my mother-in-law, I feel so thankful to receive something that I actually wear and use!
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
― Meister Eckhart
Sometimes the items will have a special emotional connection, too, which ups my gratitude so much. For example, I wear a ring that my sister gave me made of rose gold hearts. It was a simple gift but it means so much to me because it reminds me of her and our sister bond. I also gaze down at the engagement ring that my husband gifted to me and brim with gratitude for the love that we share and the big commitment we made to each other. I also tend to wear jewelry items that encourage my intentions and remind me of my values. One bracelet I wear is of Joan of Arc and the quote that came with it is: “I am not afraid. I was born for this.” I asked for it for Christmas and my husband gave it to me, so it has even more reminders of blessings! And hey, not everything I wear was a gift. If I bought that item myself, I note how thankful I am that I could afford to buy that item, or that I took care of myself by purchasing it. Hurray!
This one is simple and taps us into our sensual side. Maybe you have different abilities for some of your senses, which is OK! Show some thanks for those you do have. Here’s how:
- What is one thing that you can think of, or can SEE right now for which you are grateful? In what ways are you grateful for your sight?
- What is something you can remember, or SMELL right now for which you are grateful? What’s a favorite memory that smell brings back for you?
- What is sound that you can recall, or HEAR right now for which you are grateful? What blessings come to you in music form, or the sound of a baby giggling, or puppy barking?
- What is one thing you can relive, or what can you TASTE right now for which you are grateful? What is your favorite food or whom do you like to taste? (Yes I went there)
- What is something you’ve felt, or something you can TOUCH right now for which you are grateful? What can your hands and skin feel that makes you say hurray? What gifts can you only receive with touch?
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
Inside, Outside, and Underneath
Use my favorite framework to do a simple gratitude practice! Go through this list once, or several times. List one or many things for each category. It’s up to you! The important thing is to start with the inside and work your way out.
- Inside (our relationship with ourselves, our emotions, and diving guidance) What is something about your inner self that makes you grateful? Is it your compassion, or drive? Is it your relationship with God or a higher being? Is it your own intuition?
- Underneath (our relationship with our bodies and what we wear under our clothes) What about your body are you grateful? (see “Body Scan” above) How can you use your undergarments to create a self love ritual?
- Outside (our relationship with others and the things around us, how we present to the world) for whom in your life are you grateful? What possessions or worldly things make you say hurray? How can you live your gratitude out in the world?
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
[Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1963]
Your turn: Which of these practices can you try right now? When you’re in a tough spot or focusing on the “what the hey” in life, which of these can you turn to? How does gratitude improve your life and help you say hurray? Leave a comment and share with with me@hurraykimmay on Instagram!
Credits: Images in this post were taken by Becky Yee of Around Digital Media and Becky Yee Photo on location in Paris during a recent #HurrayVacay trip. As always, ZERO airbrushing my body. That’s a commitment I made LONG AGO after seeing real, unedited bodies in the bra fitting rooms of NYC and have stuck to for many years.