Gratitude Reflection Exercies
Maybe you’ve written one or even a few gratitude letters and you’ve been keeping a gratitude journal as well. Go ahead and switch to a new gratitude activity. You can always go back to writing letters or journaling or cycle between journaling and experimenting with new ways to experience appreciation. The following methods involve either meditating, reflecting, or talking with another person about gratitude.
- Think about a positive experience where you felt a great sense of appreciation for a person. What did this person do to help you out? What would your life be like if that person wasn’t in your life?
- Take a 15 minute mediation break. During your meditation focus back to a time when you felt moved by nature (i.e. a beautiful day at the beach). What were the sights and sounds that amazed you (i.e. children playing, the waves cascading onto shore)? What other senses were involved (i.e. feeling the sand on your feet; smelling the salt-water)? What emotions did you experience?
- Consider a particularly challenging time or event in your life. Think about how you became a better person or positive things that came out of obstacles, stress, trauma, or tragedy
- Make a phone call to express your appreciation for something that someone did recently.
- What are the simple pleasures that you enjoy on a daily basis but don’t typically think about (i.e. a cup of coffee in the morning, a pet excitedly greeting you when you return home, the smell of flowers in your garden)
- Take a 30 minute meditation break. What is an experience that you’ve had in the last few years that brought you immense joy? As you breathe in and out, focus on recreating the bodily sensations of happiness that you felt during this time.
- Think about the last time you did something to really help someone out? What did you do for them and how did you go out of your way to assist? What did it feel like to be on the receiving end of someone’s appreciation? If you have trouble coming up with anything, ask your partner, family member or close friend.
- Pick a day to go out of your way to observe things that others do that are altruistic, generous or considerate. Express your appreciation to each of these individuals for what they have done to make your day/the world better.
- Imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one.