Without knowing it, you are practicing something every single day. You practice communicating, adulting, self-love, and even practice much more complex things in your job or your relationships. To practice is to repeat the behavior over and over until you master something. Many people strive to be the very best, but far fewer people lack the motivation to actually practice something day in and day out. There are many reasons why practice matters, and this includes our gratitude practice.
WHAT IT MEANS TO PRACTICE SOMETHING
To practice something means to repeatedly and consistently engage in improving our ability to do something. You don't need us to tell you this - you have been practicing something your entire life! In fact, you are practicing your reading and your comprehension at this very moment with this blog post. Have you heard the saying "how you spend your time is how you spend your life"? If you are putting forth effort into developing a skill or behavior and growing yourself, your life will be a reflection of that. You will find growth in other areas of your life, as you practice new things.
THE SACRIFICE OF PRACTICE
Many people want to be the best at something, but putting in the work that goes into being the best at something is far less appealing than being at the top. Time, mental or physical pain, and hard work can feel like too big of a sacrifice to reach the end goal. These things are all necessary sacrifices that go into practicing something.
When we practice something, we are training our brains to automatically perform the task we are practice. The more we go through this brain train, the easier and more automatic it becomes to us. This is where the sacrifice of time comes into play. A great deal of repetition is necessary in order to start seeing the benefits of the act of practicing.
Hard work and mental or physical pain are also other factors that come with practicing something. When we work hard, sometimes the work itself is not enjoyable. It can feel repetitive, frustrating, or mundane, and can feel like mental pain. Sometimes physical pain can also factor into practice, like in a sport or if we practice something so much we lose sleep or feel anxious, which can take a toll on our physical health.
WHY PRACTICE MATTERS
That may sound like a lot, but these sacrifices are only a piece of the journey. It may feel like an overwhelming commitment to start practicing something, but mastering the art of practice is so key in every area of our lives. Practices matters because it opens the door to passion and purpose. When we practice something, we are holding the key to our growth. We can use our practice to determine what gets us excited, what we want our days and future to look like, what we are good at naturally, and what we enjoy genuinely doing.
We also learn important skills, like commitment, concentration, and organization. When we practicing, we are not shying away from hard work. We are running towards it, as we pursue a future version of ourselves that is stronger, more driven, and has more clarity.
HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Gratitude is a practice like many other things we do in our lives. We have to work diligently to receive the final reward, which is a more positive view of life, more peace, and increased joy.
We will let you in on a secret though; gratitude is not an end goal. You will never be "the best" at gratitude, but you will find that your practice is going to benefit you almost instantly. Your awareness of the beauty around you will be heightened. Your relationships with the people you love and care about will be strengthened, including your relationship with yourself. You will have an easier time navigating hard situations. You will find yourself feeling happier and more joyful. You will find peace.
On the flip side of this, the things we practice fade when we do not use them or engage in them. Gratitude is something that can be thought of as a tool because we are using it to turn our minds to the good things around us and all life has to offer. The less we practice gratitude, the easier it will be to focus on other things, like stress or negative circumstances. Practice gratitude and appreciate all the good around you, and find the benefits. Whether you use a gratitude journal, a notebook on your phone, write letters of appreciation, keep a gratitude journal, use gratitude meditations, or whatever best suits you, there is no wrong way to practice gratitude.