One of the tools I used to use with my clients was to help them develop a gratitude practice. This would generally be something simple like ending their day by writing out three to five things they were grateful for. The idea behind this practice being that many of us are very future oriented, and tend to focus on what we want but don’t yet have. Living in this mindset of lack, day in and day out can really make your current reality seem pretty blasé at best.
I believed in this tool because in my own life, I found that taking the time to be present to and acknowledge what was already pretty great, (and putting it in writing even though it seemed kinda cheesy) literally changed how I experienced my life without actually changing anything.
But then I realized that there’s an important distinction between gratitude and appreciation.
Gratitude allows you to recognize the blessings you have in your life, whereas appreciation brings more of an awareness of the importance something (or someone) has to you, the value you place on it, and what the absence of it would feel like. In other words, appreciation is that much more real and tangible.
Gratitude is a great jumping off point, but now I like to help my clients cultivate a practice of appreciation. I truly believe that’s where an amazing life begins. <3