Easy Ways to Incorporate Gratitude in Your Life

As moms, life can often feel overwhelming, especially when you’re in the trenches. Whether you have a newborn baby up all night, a toddler throwing a tantrum every waking moment, or a pre-teen or teenager giving you all the attitude, you’re not alone. Add in the challenges of work, a partner, family, and trying to keep a house clean and organized, and things can feel very daunting.

I’d say for the most part I’ve always been a “glass half-full” kind of person, but every once in awhile, negativity, pessimism, and doubt will start to creep into my life. I’ve noticed the negativity appear more when I’m the most stressed. My stress often comes from the challenges of working full-time, raising two kids, and trying to maintain a functioning household.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Gratitude in Your Life

Lately, I’ve worked to incorporate writing down 10 things I’m grateful for each day. Doing a simple thing like this has shifted my mindset away from the negativity. I’ve started to intentionally see the good in each of my days, even the hard ones. It’s also allowed me to be thankful for the littlest moments on the days that are sometimes the worst. Getting 10 things down each day is sometimes hard. Admittedly, I don’t always get to 10, but at least get close.

Below are some tips to help you start a gratitude practice in your life:

Practice Gratitude Every Day 

Like all habits, writing down gratitude needs to become an everyday thing. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. I like to take five minutes during my morning coffee and write down the things from the day before. I usually take notes on my phone during the day, but write them out in a journal each day. I like having a tangible thing to flip through and reflect back. You can easily just take notes on your phone and leave it at that. Whatever you do, make sure to do it everyday!

Be Specific

This is the most important thing about a gratitude journal. The things you are grateful for must be specific. It should not be as simple as my husband or my kids. Think about the little things that happen each day. Some of mine have included specific quotes that I want to remember from my kids, my kids eating all of the dinner that I made or the Target remodel almost being completed. Think little picture, not big picture, with your gratitude.

Be Intentional

Because you should be very specific with your gratitude statements, you’ll intentionally be looking for the good in your day. This has been the biggest game changer for me in starting a gratitude journal. I’m seeking out and looking for positive things in my life. I’m living my life intentionally and positively. I’ve noticed my patience level increase, and my love towards my kids and spouse change.

What are you grateful for today?

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Elizabeth is a personable, outgoing mom living in Cedar Rapids and working as a high school counselor. She met her husband, Ryan, in high school, but were friends for several years. They started dating while they were both at the University of Iowa and have been married since 2009. After enjoying 5.5 years as a married couple with only a dog to be responsible for, they added to their family in November 2014 when their daughter Elin was born. They welcomed their second daughter, Myla, in October 2016. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys being outside, reading, traveling, attempting to be crafty, running, cheering on the Hawkeyes and spending time with family and friends. She’s loved seeing Cedar Rapids through the lens of a mom and all our city has to offer for families.