Write down one to three things you’re grateful for. Now make a note of how you felt when you wrote these things down.
Did you feel excitement? Love? Joy? Or did you feel nothing? Like, “Meh these are the things that I have and I’m grateful for them.”
I love gratitude lists. They are simple and quick – making them a great start to developing a journaling practice.
They’re a fantastic way to show you what you have in your life to be grateful for. They are a beautiful way to lift your spirits during hard times and keep your spirits lifted beyond those times.
Gratitude lists are a beautiful way to connect with your energy and raise your vibration to receive even more abundance in your life. They are the gateway to a heart-led life.
But only if they are practiced well . . .
Here Are 3 Common Mistakes You Might Make When Writing a Gratitude List:
1. You Write Down General Things
One of the most common mistakes when writing gratitude lists is writing down general things. This means things like having slow mornings, having food on the table, a roof over your head, sipping your coffee slowly as the sun rises, etc.
These are absolutely things to be grateful for, but they are also things that you likely have and do everyday.
There is something new in every day so we should write something new to be grateful for every day – something new to be inspired by.
The new things are the things that keep our energy moving and flowing. If we stop doing or learning new things, if we stop adding fun to our days, our energy stops flowing and becomes stagnant.
Over time, writing down general things becomes monotonous and the joy you once felt about the beautiful things in your life diminishes.
2. You Consider “Happiness” and “Gratitude” to Be the Same Thing
It has been shown that writing gratitude lists can make you happier.
When we write gratitude lists, we tend to focus on writing the things that make us happy. But gratitude and happiness are not the same thing. Happiness is a joyful feeling, feeling good and content, and being aware of feeling. Gratitude is showing and feeling appreciation for things.
You can be grateful for things that didn’t or don’t make you happy.
The difficult times, the hard lessons – we can be grateful for those too. While it’s difficult to be grateful for those times in the moment, chances are those times lead to something amazing that drastically changed your life for the better.
Even though it sucked, being grateful for those times and those lessons is a beautiful way to expand your energy and show the universe you can handle anything that comes your way!
When you’re writing your gratitude list, make sure you’re writing a list of things you’re actually grateful for, not a list of things that make you happy (although this is also a great list to have!).
3. You Bypass the Hard Stuff
So often we write out a gratitude list and then say “I wrote out my list, why aren’t I happier?”
Gratitude lists are not a form of emotional release. And that’s okay. That’s not what their purpose is.
The purpose of a gratitude list is to show you the things, people, places, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences you have in your life that you can appreciate. But sometimes we use gratitude lists as a way to bypass the things we’re feeling.
For example: You got fired from your job and you’re feeling angry about it, but you write it on your gratitude list as something you’re grateful for because you hated that job and wanted out anyway.
Writing this experience down on your gratitude list won’t release the anger. It can help you shift your energy and perspective around the situation, but you have to go the extra step to release that anger.
We do this because we have this idea that we can only feel one thing at a time so we choose the thing that we think is going to make us feel better. We choose gratitude over anger.
When we do this, we don’t feel grateful or happy after writing our gratitude list because we are still holding on to the emotions and thoughts that don’t serve us.
Writing a gratitude list doesn’t allow you to bypass emotions, so if you’re not feeling better after some time practicing gratitude, ask yourself what you’re holding on to.
Here’s How You Should Write Your Gratitude List
Here’s how you know if you’re getting the most out of your practice: Energy.
Go back to the gratitude list you wrote at the beginning of this article. How did you feel when you were writing it?
The things you’re grateful for should elicit an emotion.
For example, let’s say you’re grateful for your morning cup of coffee on the deck overlooking the fields of flowers. That is something to be grateful for, for sure!
But if you write that down everyday, you’re likely going to stop having an emotional reaction to it as you write it down. It doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful for it or that you don’t enjoy it anymore.
But when we’re writing a gratitude list without emotion, we won’t feel gratitude in a big energetic way.
Gratitude is all about your energy. It’s the energetic match of abundance and flow. When we’re grateful for what we have, we attract more.
The goal of a gratitude list is to fill your heart and mind with appreciation and love. Writing your gratitude list should fill you with so much emotion and energy, you could burst!
The Takeaway on Writing Gratitude Lists
The universe responds to energy. So when we’re sitting in the energy of “I am so grateful for all that I have,” “I am so grateful for all that I am,” and “I am so grateful for all that I’m moving through and all that is coming my way,” we call more of that into our lives.
As you write your gratitude list, do it with intention. Sit with the emotions and thoughts that come up as you write your list. Writing in gratitude should make you feel, should shift your mindset, and make you feel powerful and loved beyond belief.
The energy in your gratitude list should awaken your soul.