The Art of Gratitude
By Jen Bain
“Thanks.” How many times a day do you find this simple, polite phrase rolling off your tongue? We throw “thank you” around like it’s no big thing. Saying it because we’ve been trained to, because we want to be courteous. But when’s the last time we really thanked someone, or something, or ourselves (that last one’s a doozy) and truly meant it? It’s time to reclaim “thank you” and put some oomph behind it! How do we do this? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
Gratitude as a practice
Thanking your friend for sending over their Instagram-worthy, vegan-friendly, totally on-trend banana bread recipe is a no-brainer, but when’s the last time you thanked them simply for being a friend? Instead of peeking out the window and shouting “WOOHOO! It’s sunny!”, when have you last thanked the universe for blessing us with the gift of warmth and light in the first place? That, right there, is the difference.
Don’t get me wrong, polite “thank yous” are meaningful and necessary, and they make us feel warm and fuzzy. Keep ‘em around! But how do we take this practice of “thanking” and kick it up a notch?
We direct it inward, supporting it with positive energy that will, in turn, create more positive energy, ultimately leading us to live fuller, happier, more meaningful lives. What’s the catch, you might ask? The best part about gratitude is there is no catch! By expressing gratitude for everything, including the good and the bad in our lives, we attract everything that is meant for us. The more you apply this practice, the easier it becomes. Before you know it, you are living a life rooted in gratitude and flow!
So now what?!
What we’d like to do in the midst of these hectic, overwhelming, and down-right wacky times is guide you through the first steps of your gratitude journey. Each day, we’ll hit you with a simple task that will help you gradually incorporate these tools into your daily practice. The best part about adopting this mindset is the fact that it’s something you can build upon. We’ll help you start small (baby steps, amiright?), and before you know it you’ll be a gratitude pro. We’re excited for you to join in on the practice, and we thank you (see what I did there) for coming along on this journey with us. If you’d like to participate, there are a few ways to do so. You can read ahead below, but we suggest taking this one day at a time.
Bookmark this page and check back each morning for the task of the day, or follow us on Instagram at @tonic_cbd where we’ll post each task one day at a time (make sure to turn on post notifications so you don’t miss anything!)
Day One: A Grateful Goodnight
We’ve all got our own version of a bedtime routine: wash your face, meditate, sage your room, crush a tub of cookie dough.. to each their own. To kick off this challenge, we’d like you to add one more step. The intentions we set before a good night’s rest can greatly affect the quality of our sleep, the dreams we have, and the state in which we wake up. So, let’s set an intention to fall asleep and wake up with a healthy dose of gratitude.
Go to bed grateful
- Reflect on your day: Before you close your eyes tonight, carve out some time to reflect on three things from your day for which you’re grateful. Our advice is to keep it simple, keep it tangible, and keep it current.
- One thing you’re grateful for
- One thing you learned
- One thing that made you laugh
Build the habit: They say it takes 21 days for a practice to become habitual, so do your best to stick with this nightly ritual. You’ll be surprised how such a simple practice can change your entire perspective.
Day Two: Good Morning, Gratitude!
You guessed it! We’re taking this practice from nighttime to daytime. While building on your nightly gratitude reflection, we now challenge you to adopt this mindset as you go about your day. Today, we’ll give thanks for both the good, the bad, and everything in between. Consciously identifying which is which is the first step in shifting the narrative on the things we’d normally not feel too jazzed about.
Bring on the “thank you”:
- Create your own note of gratitude: When you identify something to be grateful for, give thanks for it in your own voice. Like we mentioned on Day One, keep it simple! This phrase can be anything that feels natural to you. From something as simple as “Thank you for…” to “I’m grateful for…” or anything else that feels right to you and your unique voice.
- Give thanks for the good: Take note when something makes you smile, laugh, feel light, etc. After you take note, give thanks! “I’m so grateful for my virtual yoga class.” That’s it!
- Give thanks for the not-so-good: Sometimes things happen that throw us for a loop. You break a glass, you burn your toast, you rear-end a car. While these occurrences would typically elicit an f-bomb rather than a moment of thankfulness, let’s try to sprinkle some gratitude on the situation anyway. Rephrase the narrative by asking, “What is this teaching me?” or “How can I grow from this?” Express gratitude for it by saying something like, “Thank you for this lesson/opportunity.” Then send it on its way and let the good times roll.
Day Three: Get Your Gratitude On
The Challenge Overview:
Today we are ready to kick off our three-day gratitude challenge, and the prize for completion is a one-way ticket to manifestation station. When we actively appreciate what we already have, we build the foundation for the life we want. Consistency is key, so make sure to check back each day for new and inspiring tips and suggestions to build your gratitude practice like a boss.
What You’ll Need:
- A journal
- Five minutes of quiet time to center and reflect
What You’ll Do:
- Every day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for. If you need some inspiration, we got you! For each day of the challenge, we’ll give you a different source of gratitude to pull from.
- Incorporate this practice into your morning routine. Pro-tip: this exercise pairs perfectly with a hot cup of morning coffee or tea. Special note: caffeine can be one of the things you’re grateful for too!
Give Thanks for the Good Stuff
Today’s Task: In your journal, write three things you’re grateful for today. This can be something as tangible as the bacon, egg, and cheese you’re about to eat, or something as deep as knowing you’re a spirit child of Source, beaming with universal life force energy and protected by guardian angels in the heavens above. Whatever floats your gratitude boat.
Some tips and tricks:
- How much you write is up to you. This can be a quick bulleted list or a short-hand essay. We encourage you to write whatever amount feels right to you, but there’s no perfect way to express gratitude. However, the more you let pour out on paper, the likelier you are to discover thoughts buried in your subconscious that have been waiting for release.
- If you’re having trouble choosing three things, start by taking a look around you. Are there people, objects, or artwork nearby that inspire you? Use these as a catalyst to jumpstart your brain and focus on the things you love most.
Day Four: Say Goodbye to ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’
Time to take it up a notch!
It’s fairly easy to express gratitude for the good things in life, but how do we change the narrative on the “bad”? We’re societally wired to bucket something as “good” or “bad” – but what if we took away the power of these labels? What if we took things purely at face value, without judgment, and without reaction?
Today’s Task: In your journal, identify three perceived obstacles in your life. Again, these can be small to mega such as spilling coffee on yourself to losing your job. Now, apply our mentality from Day 2, and ask “what are these obstacles trying to teach me?” Write the answers down in your journal and express your gratitude for the lesson.
Some tips and tricks:
- The lessons that are meant for us aren’t always wildly existential. Sometimes they’re simple, so don’t search too hard for deeper meaning. For instance, if you hadn’t forgotten about that work deadline, you never would have had the one-on-one conversation with your boss where you actually ended up getting to tell them what kind of support you need to excel at your job.
- If you can’t pinpoint three “bad” things from today, try going back in time a bit. This can be a breakup, a canceled flight, an expired friendship – anything that ended up serving you in a way you weren’t expecting.
Day Five: Send Some Thanks to the Future
Today, we’re going to give thanks for the things we don’t have yet but want to bring into our lives. Think big, think truthfully, and think from a place of love to call in the abundance that’s meant for you.
Today’s Task: In your journal, write down 3 things you want to call into your life and then express gratitude for them as if they are already yours. This can be a new job, a fulfilling career, love, money, health, confidence – channel it all! The trick here though is to thank the universe as if they’re already yours. So instead of “I would be thankful for a new car” try, “I’m so grateful for my new car!!” It might feel a little weird at first, but have you ever heard the saying ‘fake it til you make it’? The universe gets down like that – act as if it’s yours and it will be. 🙂
Some tips and tricks:
- If you’re having a hard time being grateful for things that don’t yet exist (it takes some getting used to), try this exercise instead! It can help you tune in and gain a deeper understanding of the source which we’re tapping into, aka abundance.
- Visualize what a perfect life looks like to you. Take away the money, obligations, societal standards, other people’s opinions, and think BIG.
- Try the above exercise for each area of your life: career, love, finances, home, health, or any other parts of your life that could use a glow up.
- From this exercise, you’ll be able to streamline your goals and start to channel the gratitude needed to call these aspirations into your life.