What We'll Cover in this Article.
- How to Use a Gratitude Jar
- The Benefits of Gratitude
- How to Use a Gratitude Jar: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Tips for Gratitude Jar Success
- Gratitude Books and Videos
- Gratitude Jar: Final Thoughts
- You May Also Like…
How to Use a Gratitude Jar
As a child it was drilled into me that saying ‘thank you’ is a sign of good manners and something I should always remember to do.
After each birthday I begrudgingly sat at the kitchen table and wrote my ‘thank you’ cards as quickly as possible.
It was a bit of an empty exercise really, as while I wasn’t an ungrateful child, I just didn’t yet understand the power of gratitude…
Fast forward a few years and gratitude is one of my favourite topics.
I now ‘get it’.
There’s many different gratitude practices you can do, and one of my favorite is the Gratitude Jar.
A Gratitude Jar is a gratitude practice where you regularly meditate on, and then write down the things, people and experiences you are grateful for in your life. These papers are then stored in a jar so you can re-visit and reflect upon them at a later date, often at the end of a year.
A regular gratitude practice can bring so many positive benefits to your life and can super-charge your ability to manifest your dream life.
“The more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because – for sure – what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.”
The Benefits of Gratitude
Before we get carried away talking about Gratitude Jars, lets look at why gratitude is so important. You might be suprised…
The benefits of a regular gratitude practice have been the subject of much research and the positive results have been well documented. Check out this article here.
“The vibration of gratitude makes you more receptive to good in your life.”
Gratitude can have a wide-ranging impact, including emotional, psychological, social, health and spiritual benefits. Here’s a few of my favourites:
Health wise, gratitude can improve our sleep, reduce depressive symptoms, lower blood pressure and reduce general aches and pains. It can also increase the likelihood you’ll exercise regularly and improve your overall physical health.
So now we know why gratitude is so important for us, I’m excited to share my step-by-step Gratitude Jar guide.
Let’s get started!
How to Use a Gratitude Jar: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1. Gather Your Materials
First gather your materials together. All you’ll need is a jar of some description, a pen and some paper.
You can make your Gratitude Jar as simple or as fancy as you like.
Feel free to personalise it and make it look good so you’ll enjoy using it. You can paint your jar, add stickers or ribbons and use colored or decorative paper if you like.
That said, don’t worry too much about the aesthetics of your Gratitude Jar – the process you follow is much more important than what it looks like.
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Step 2. Bring Yourself into the Moment
When you’re ready, get yourself into a comfortable position, seated or lying down – anywhere you’ll be comfortable for about 10-15 minutes.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, hold it for a brief moment and then let it out. Repeat this two more times.
Take a few minutes to meditate and bring yourself into the moment.
I know meditation is a lot harder than it first appears, so if you need some guidance on meditation, check out Emily Fletcher – she’s one of the world’s top meditation instructors. She has a fabulous meditation program on Mindvalley here.
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Step 3. Identify What You’re Grateful For
After a few minutes of meditation, ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?” Sit quietly and allow the answers to come to you.
The ideas might pop right into your head, or you may like to go through your day or week from start to finish to identify things you’re grateful for.
The things you’re grateful for may be big or small, trite or extraordinary – there’s no rules as to what counts!
Think about the people in your day, the things that happened, things that made you emotional or evoked a feeling in you, such as a surprise or something unexpected that happened.
Check out this Fathers Day post for some inspiration about things about your Dad you may be grateful for.
Step 4. Focus on the Feeling of Gratitude
When you identify something you’re grateful for, stay with that feeling of gratitude for a moment.
Use all your senses to bring the feeling of gratitude into the moment and feel it intensely.
Don’t rush this – savor the feeling of gratitude.
If you can, identify what specifically it is about this thing, person or experience that you’re grateful for.
As you do this, you’ll start to build a picture of what’s actually important to you and what you value, and so you can start to manifest more of this into your life.
Step 5. What Else Are You Grateful For?
When you’re ready, let that thing, person or experience go, and move on to the next thing you’re grateful for.
Don’t force this, let it happen naturally. There’s no minimum number you need to reach.
If only one thing comes to mind that’s fine.
It’s better to feel a strong and genuine feeling of gratitude for one thing, than a vague or diluted bit of gratitude towards ten different things.
We’re after quality not quality here!
Step 6. Write Your Gratitude Statements
Once you’re satisfied you’ve identified the things you are grateful for, bring yourself back into the room and open your eyes.
Pick up your pen and paper and write it all down.
You can either write each thing down on a separate piece of paper / post-it note or write everything on a single piece.
Again, there’s no rules here – do whatever feels right to you.
When you’re ready, put your paper(s) into your Gratitude Jar and go on with your day.
Tips for Gratitude Jar Success
To ensure you get the most out of your gratitude practice, here’s a few thoughts and tips:
1. Just as there’s no minimum number of things you need to be grateful for, there’s also no rules about how frequently you to this.
While some people say you should do a gratitude exercise every day, there’s actually evidence to suggest that if you do it more than once or twice a week, then you actually lose the positive impact on your health and wellbeing that gratitude is so well known for.
I think this is because it may become a chore if you try to do it every day.
Just something else you need to tick off your to-do list! And so, you just go through the motions, scribble a few random things on the paper but not really feel gratitude.
So, I think it’s better to do this Gratitude Jar exercise once or twice a week and do it properly.
Of course, if you want to do it more frequently, and make it part of your bed-time routine for example, then this would be a lovely way to wind down your day – as long as you do it genuinely with feeling and not just go through the motions!
2. When identifying the things you’re grateful for, focus on people and experiences rather than material objects as you’re likely to generate a stronger emotional feeling.
While you may be pleased with your new phone, car or even a fabulous pair of shoes – this is likely to wear off pretty quickly as you become acclimatised to having it in your life.
People and experiences are more personal though and more likely to elicit strong feelings of gratitude.
3. Don’t shy away from the negative things.
Even though they can be painful, negative experiences and difficult people can be opportunities for us to learn and grow.
Is there something positive you can take from the experience? Something you can be grateful for?
Think about what life would be like without certain things, people and experiences.
Imaging the absence of them is likely to elicit a strong feeling of gratitude that you do have them in your life!
Focus on surprises or unexpected events – they elicit a strong emotional reaction and greater feelings of gratitude.
4. Mix it up!
Try not to roll out the same or similar things every time.
Stretch yourself to think of new things. If you’re struggling to think of new things, you may find it useful to listen to a guided gratitude meditation, to expand your horizon of things you could be grateful for:
Gratitude Books and Videos
Here’s some of my favourite videos about Gratitude. Lots of wonderful stories to motivate and inspire you!
And if books are more your thing, here’s a few great reads on the subject of Gratitude:
Gratitude Jar: Final Thoughts
There’s few things in this world more powerful than gratitude to give your life a huge turnaround!
A gratitude practice forces us to pay attention to the good things in life that we might otherwise take for granted.
A Gratitude Jar is a simple and enjoyable way to start a regular gratitude practice and it can have a huge positive effect on your life – and especially your manifestation efforts!
It won’t happen overnight though.
You need to stick with it for a couple of months to see the positive benefits. It’s well worth the effort though!
One of the wonderful things about a Gratitude Jar is that you can open it and re-visit what you have written whenever you need a boost or pick-me-up.
It’s also a lovely record of how much you’ve grown and developed.
I like to read some of my papers at the end of each year and it re-affirms the path of self-discovery and spiritual growth I’m on.
“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.”
Now over to you!
Do you have a regular gratitude practice? How has it helped you?
Let me know in the comments below.
To your best life,
You May Also Like…
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