I hope you’ve been having a gratitude-filled month, and perhaps have reconnected with some of the good things in your life that are so easy to take for granted.

Give yourself a high five!

Now, as you wrap up this module, you might want to go beyond the basics with some advanced practices.

I have a few suggestions for exploration:

  1. Send small messages of thanks throughout the day. This takes a bit of mindfulness, because you have to be thinking in the gratitude mindset throughout the day. When you think of someone, ask yourself how you’re grateful for them. What have they given you? Send them a text message or email or IM or Instagram thank you, or a handwritten note, or give them a call.
  2. Appreciate each moment with mindfulness. And this one takes even more mindfulness! Throughout your day, notice the present moment, notice how you feel, what’s around you, who’s with you. Experience the moment, and realize that it’s a blessing.
  3. Notice what you have. First notice when you are disappointed or wanting something you don’t have, or comparing yourself to others or an ideal. This is what we do all the time. Instead, let go of those ideals and notice what you actually have, which is wonderful.
  4. Replace ungrateful thoughts with grateful ones. Notice when you’re thinking something bad about another person, or about yourself, or about whatever situation you’re in. It’s a complaint! Instead, see the blessing in the person, in yourself, in the situation.
  5. Find gratitude for those who frustrate you. As you find yourself frustrated with someone (including yourself!), pause and consider what they are doing that is frustrating for you … what are they not, that you wish they were? Now shift to thinking about what they are, and what about that person you can be grateful for.

These aren’t always easy to remember, so you’ll need to remind yourself. You’ll forget, which is perfectly normal. It’s like falling off the bike. Just remember again, and get back on the bike and start pedaling.

I wish you the best with this habit as you go beyond this month, encourage you to continue practicing gratitude, and hope that you’ll try these practices in different parts of your daily life. I’m grateful that you participated this month!