A 5 Minute Writing Exercise to Cultivate Gratitude

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Focusing on what you cherish in life for just five minutes a day can have an incredible effect on your outlook, mood, and sense of self.

By Amelia Buckley for The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
© 2021 The Optimist Daily – All Rights Reserved

A Five Minute Writing Exercise to Cultivate Gratitude

Research has demonstrated over and over again that gratitude is a powerful force for reducing stress, boosting mental health, and increasing happiness. Essentially, recognizing all the good in our lives helps us focus on appreciation, rather than criticism. Writing down what we’re grateful for is one of the best ways to cultivate a sense of gratitude, but getting started with this practice isn’t always easy. Today we share a gratitude writing exercise from Mindful to help you get started. 

  1. Set a timer for five minutes. Just five minutes a day can make all the difference in welcoming gratitude into your life.
  2. Think of a person, place, item, or concept you rarely notice but enjoy. This can be a great meal you had today, a coworker, or even your favorite houseplant. 
  3. Write and reflect on what impact this chosen thing or person has on your life, what is the first thing you notice about it when you think of it, and how would your life be different without it. 
  4. Read through what you’ve written and take a minute to honestly reflect on what you have down. How do your own words make you feel? What would you add if you rewrote your reflection? Do they bring up any particularly strong emotions?
  5. If you would like, share what you have written with a friend or loved one. 
  6. Each day, pick a different person or item to repeat this practice with. Focusing on what you cherish in life for just five minutes a day can have an incredible effect on your outlook, mood, and sense of self.

By Amelia Buckley for The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
© 2021 The Optimist Daily – All Rights Reserved

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