A gratitude practice you probably haven’t tried before
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
In our last blog, we explained that harnessing your five senses (Smell, Sight, Hear, Touch, and Taste) can help you live happier and more mindfully. Humans learn best, and more easily adapt to change, when our brains and bodies are experiencing multiple senses at once.
USING OUR SENSES TO EMBED MEMORY
Recall some of your childhood memories. What do you remember? Chances are, certain smells, sights, sounds, tastes or feelings come to mind:
Grandma’s warm apple pie smells like cinnamon and tastes so sweet. She always looked so happy and proud to serve it.
Our family trip to Disneyland was hot, felt a bit chaotic and the song “It’s a Small World” was on repeat! But... my kids’ faces were priceless.
That trip to the coast was unforgettable - the sand was so soft, the sunset on the water was so vibrant and the seafood was soooo tasty.
In today’s blog, we’re going to divulge the HOW - a short gratitude practice you can do in just 5-10 minutes each day. We call it “My Grateful Five”.
MAKING THE MUNDANE SEEM MORE MAGICAL
What might happen when we train our brains to more actively use our senses throughout the day - especially when it comes to the ‘boring’ parts?!
By isolating a particular moment and focusing on the small details, you will learn how to connect your senses with feelings of gratitude. The benefits of this gratitude practice?
Small, often overlooked, moments feel more significant and are easier to recall
Mundane tasks feel more fun or rewarding
You feel happier more often, or are able to pull yourself out of ‘a funk’ quicker – this is because neuro pathways are programmed to feel gratitude and release all those amazing hormones faster and more often
Time starts to stand still; it sounds silly, but the more you train your brain, the more you’ll find yourself truly appreciating the present moment.
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE (PART ONE)
My Grateful Five is best completed at night, before bed – especially when used as a substitute to scrolling Instagram or watching Netflix (eliminate those blue-light, late-night device sessions!).
This is part one of a two-part practice. In a few week’s time, we’ll teach you about layering your senses (and your gratitude) for an even deeper experience.
Grab a pen and paper - try this unique gratitude practice:
Recall your day. In the left-hand column of your page, write “I saw” and briefly describe one situation that you had seen today.
Then, in the right-hand column, describe why you appreciated seeing it. How did you feel when seeing it?
In the left-hand column of your page, write “I smelled” and briefly describe one thing you remember smelling. In the right-hand column, describe why you appreciated smelling it. How did you feel when smelling it.
Repeat for all five senses (smell, sight, hear, touch, and taste).
If you repeat this for at least seven days, you’ll begin to notice your brain automatically noticing everything around you at a more heightened level. You will feel more gratitude for the experiences/things/people around you.
Gratitude and positive thinking are very much like a muscle – the more you work at it and strengthen your practice, the stronger you will feel! It may feel weird and uncomfortable at first, (especially in hard circumstances) but it will get easier the more you do it.
**We’ve published the My Grateful Five practice into a journal. Available in 4 different colours (rose gold, robin’s egg blue, forest green, and purple), you can buy it online or in-store at Southcenter Mall in Calgary approximately November 1!