The word “gratitude” is widely used. We see #blessed flooding our Instagram channels, testimonials from yoga teachers asking us to identify areas of gratitude and approach a semi-dedicated holiday to express gratitude. Still, many of us struggle to cultivate gratitude. What is the deal?
Like many things in life, gratitude is contagious. But this mentality goes both ways: complaining and negative thinking tend to generate more negative thoughts. In other words, once we get caught up in a spiral of “yes” and comparisons, it can be hard to get out of it. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have an occasional airing session about your coworker’s annoying tendencies with your best friend … But you can also consider finding some things that inspire gratitude. Because just as negative thinking can stimulate a negative perspective, gratitude can inspire a positive one.
In a way, gratitude is like yoga. It is a practice. And internships require exactly that: time and energy. For some inspiration on how to make gratitude a common activity, we spoke with our gratitude guru, Miki Ash.
If you haven’t stopped on Miki Ash’s beautiful, cactus-laden Instagram, it’s time to do it. Miki generated traction on social media by showing yoga poses, but has since gone on to use the platform to share bits of wisdom, motivational mantras, and instructions to cultivate gratitude. We talked to Miki about her routine of personal gratitude to understand how she generates so much positivity. (It is immediately clear that this girl is genuine AF, which, to be honest, can sometimes be hard to find in the welfare industry.)
“Gratitude is my honey,” Miki explains. “It’s sweet and smooth and a pleasure so simple that it brings me so much. It instantly turns everything I have into more than enough and transforms any kind of lack mentality into one of abundance. ”
To maintain this kind of mindset, Miki practices a number of daily rituals. Replicate your routine or use it to inspire yours.
Daily tips for cultivating gratitude
- Write in a diary every morning and state how you want to feel that day. I use the 5 minute diary. This puts me in a “reception mode” so that I can better attract my dreams and desires by taking unconscious, conscious steps toward the choices that serve my ambitions.
- Go for a walk. Walking, with zero distraction on social media, is a gateway to gratitude. I walk my dog in the morning, walk around my neighborhood and mentally express my gratitude for everything that comes to mind during the walk. This is the perfect time to prepare your brain for positive thinking.
- If I have trouble expressing gratitude mentally, I will do so physically. That means sitting down and taking a moment to feel gratitude in every area of my body. I go up my body, starting with my feet and going up to the rest of my body, bones and organs, until I reach the crown of my head. Then I can find gratitude for my health, my well-being, and my senses. This is a great place to start if you feel really low!
- Next time you are with a group of friends (or strangers), ask them to go around and say what they are grateful for. This is something I do regularly and I am always so, so happy, amazed and amazed at how open and grateful people are for the consultation.
- Still stuck? Repeat one of my favorite mantras below!I express my gratitude for my health, for my well-being, for all my senses.
I express my gratitude for waking up this morning, healthy and free.
I am grateful to family, friends, the community, and myself.
I express my gratitude for where I live, for who I am, and for what I am becoming.
Remember, gratitude makes everything more special. It connects you to where you are and who you are and what you are doing. Take the time to do this simple practice and really reap the benefits.
Miki Ash is an artist, photographer, content creator and teacher of yoga and meditation. Find her on her website or on Instagram.
Amanda Kohr is the editor of Wanderlust. You can find it by exploring new roads, having coffee in the dining room and on Instagram.