A gratitude practice has been something that I have held dear in 2020, one that has grounded me in spite of the vortex of a year it has been. Mine consists of simply writing down five things in as much or as little detail as I feel at the close of each day. Sometimes it will be about the people around me, the things I was able to do, or more generally about the little things I take for granted on a day-to-day basis.
The one thing I have noticed is that gratitude comes more easily with scarcity. For example, I have been following a 20:4 intermittent fasting protocol meaning I eat only during a 4 hour period during the day. While I have gotten “used to the hunger” and don’t feel uncomfortable in the final hours in the lead up to the eating period, whatever food I eat never fails to taste amazing. Even if I am just eating a banana or an easy over-baked chicken recipe, I always find myself in a state of mindful eating, and readily and openly showing gratitude to whoever made it the food. As a result, I feel my relationship with food has transformed for the better and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experiment with my diet.
I came across another implementation of a gratitude practice that involved writing appreciation messages to anyone you are grateful for to have in your life. Being specific about what was appreciated will mean it will resonate deeper. It is something that I know I should be doing with more intention and effort. In fact, when I looked into it, it turned out there was a lot of research that provided overwhelming evidence for effectiveness of this practice to the sender and receiver of this message. More than a message, I have a couple of friends that effortlessly demonstrate their gratitude to the people around them in person, and this is a trait I find deeply admirable.