How to start a gratitude practice

How to start a gratitude practice - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

Why should you learn how to start a gratitude practice? Showing your appreciation keeps you focused on a positive mindset, and the Law of Attraction dictates that showing appreciation will cause the Universe to bring you more things to be grateful for. As you develop a practice of gratitude, you may even inspire others around you to do the same.

Practicing mindful gratitude is the #1 way to maintain a positive attitude

A daily gratitude practice is what I typically recommend to my clients, because once you do it consistently for a few days, you will really get into the flow and make gratitude a regular habit. You might opt to do it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, or maybe it will be the last thing you do before going to sleep. If neither of those work for you, consider setting a daily alarm on your phone as a reminder.

Ideas on how to start a gratitude practice

Tip: To get the full effect of all that positive energy, be sure you remain mindful no matter which route you choose. Simply listing things off is going to be beneficial on its own, but taking time to contemplate the why and how it makes you feel is what’s really going to get those juicy positive vibes moving through your soul.


The best way to get an idea out into the Universe or ingrained in your own brain, is to declare it as a positive affirmation. Saying affirmations out loud three times will help you to manifest their energy, so if you’re looking to bring more positive vibes into your life, this is a great option for you.

If you need help coming up with affirmations, you can find them posted every Tuesday here on the blog, or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

How to start a gratitude practice - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness
How to start a gratitude practice - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

List 5 things

Each night before settling in to sleep I take about three minutes to consciously acknowledge five things I’m grateful for. My general rule is that I avoid cop-outs like family and friends because it would just be too obvious, repetitive, and lengthy.

What I like to do is find five things that are specific to my day. For example, for today I might choose:

  1. My body is healing – every day it is getting better.
  2. My new home is amazing and a joy to spend time in.
  3. Karma, my little pup makes me laugh daily and is a blessing to cuddle with.
  4. I got to see pics of my grandkids joyfully playing in the snow for the first time.
  5. The weather is turning cooler and I get to wear my boots!

Mentally making note of five things is a great way to get the mind chatter turned off and settle down for the evening in a positive mindset. Bring on those sweet dreams!

Get social

How to start a gratitude practice - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness
Image from @monkeyminddesign on Instagram

A while back I participated in a social media gratitude challenge where I would post a daily image of something I was grateful for on Instagram. I think I made it to 60 or so, but I have seen people who have very admirably done this for months, or even longer.

If this sounds appealing to you, give it a try – you don’t even need to join anything that’s already planned – just make it a self-challenge if you like. And the bonus here is that when you share it with others, you are sharing that amazing positive energy too, and maybe even inspiring them to join you in the challenge!

For the month of November, I’m going to share personal gratitude posts on Instagram – give me a follow to check them out! @lifecoachjenm

Be the Town Crier

Saying things out loud makes them real. It also gives us accountability and the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with others. Declare what you’re grateful for out loud in front of others, and see how it transforms the energy in your shared space.

“Jim, I really appreciate your help with the Smith project last week. I couldn’t have done it without you.” You just made Jim’s day, and kept yourself in a highly positive mindset in the process.

“I am so grateful for the chance to celebrate your birthday with you, Susan. I love spending time with you and your family.” Again this has you in a positive frame of mind, and gives Susan a boost of happiness as well.

Even speaking about appreciation for simple things will boost the mood of yourself an those around you. “This coffee smells and tastes amazing. I’m really appreciating that boost of energy it’s giving me!” What better way to start that 9am staff meeting?

Start a gratitude journal

The gratitude journal I used during my 2019 retreat in Abaco, The Bahamas
The gratitude journal I used during my
2019 retreat in Abaco, The Bahamas

Pick up a pretty bound journal and place it somewhere you’ll see it daily. Make sure you keep a pen nearby, so it’s easy to write down thoughts about what you’re grateful for.

When you work on a gratitude journal, not only are you making things “real” by putting them on paper, you’re also creating a handy reference for yourself. The next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, grab that journal and flip through it for an instant dose of positivity.

I have a client who simply jots down bits of gratitude on her desk calendar each day. If you’re the creative type, grab some colorful gel pens and stickers, and doodle your gratitude onto that paper. You can make it as simple or decorative as you like.

Note to self

I recommend this tip to some of my clients. Take a sticky note and write down one thing you are grateful for this week. Put it up on your bathroom mirror or somewhere else you will see it every day, as a reminder that you have good reason to be grateful. Be sure you spend a quick 10-20 seconds being mindful about the object of your appreciation. To keep from getting stuck in a rut, be sure to change it out every week.

Table talk

Table talk - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

Each year at Thanksgiving dinner, our family has a tradition of going around the table and sharing what we are thankful for. Why not implement this as a daily practice in your own household? I recommend you institute a few simple rules:

  1. Keep it positive, obvs
  2. No repeats for at least a week – lest your teenage son picks Fortnite every day
  3. Be ready to tell everyone why you’re grateful. No “just because” allowed!


How could I let this article get by without mentioning meditation? Gratitude meditation is amazing because it keeps you positive and also provides relaxation and stress relief.

How to do a gratitude meditation: Once you’re in “the zone” think of one thing that you are grateful for – it can be something big, or something simple. It can be literally anything. Imagine it in your mind – how it looks, feels, smells, what it sounds like, how it feels to the touch. Then ask yourself “Why am I grateful for this? How does this make me feel?” and pay real attention to that warm feeling you get in your heart and belly. Feel all that positive, loving, appreciation coming through every part of your body and soul.

Get into a positive mindset and stay there with a daily gratitude practice.

Whether you implement one, two, or all of these ideas, I’m confident you’ll be on your way to a very positive mindset in no time, and raking in all the good stuff the Universe wants to send you.

How to start a gratitude practice

As a Transformational Life Coach and Certified Hypnosis Practitioner, I help people shift their subconscious mind to break old, unwanted patterns. Book your free consultation and assessment online.

Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

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