For the past 2 years, I’ve been intentionally practicing gratitude each morning. The moment I wake up, I grab my phone, open my #GCode app and write down my gratitude list. I started this practice after my coach and mentor, Ryan Stewman, explained how starting your day in gratitude put you into a positive mindset right at the start of your day, and that it would change not only the way I moved through the world but how much it would impact my growth and success in every area of life. And he wasn’t wrong.
In fact, studies show that practicing gratitude daily can literally change the structure of your brain. In fact, a study conducted at Berkeley several years ago showed that even the act of writing a single letter or list of things you’re grateful for could reduce anxiety and depression for 4-12 weeks after the single writing exercise. Think about that for a minute. If one gratitude exercise can lift you up for weeks after, imagine what practicing gratitude every single day can do.
Your gratitude list should be the first thing you do in the morning.
Now, some of you might be thinking, “How in the world can you practice gratitude every morning if the first thing you do is pick up your phone?” But here’s the deal…The key is to only pick up the phone to write the list. I do not allow myself to open any other apps such as emails or texts. That early in the morning I only want to be focused on positivity. By reading emails, texts, and news articles you begin to let the outside world influence you. Trust me when I tell you, this is not a way to start your day.
Be proactive, not reactive. Practice gratitude, every single day, and I can promise you will see real and lasting change in your life almost immediately.