We are all trying to find ways to be more positive, more fulfilled, and feel more content in our daily lives. Right? This can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming or too time consuming to add into our routine. Here is a simple exercise that is great for elevating your mood. Taking a few minutes a day for some introspection can truly change your life.

When you give yourself a chance to experience conscious gratitude, it can activate the pleasure mechanisms of your brain. If you reinforce grateful behavior on a regular basis,  over time it can help create positive mental associations that become useful tools for breaking patterns of negative thinking.

Here are the 5 quick steps to add mindful appreciation into your life:

Step 1: Set some time aside every day to sit quietly with a pen and paper, without your phone. It can even be just 5 minutes a day.

Step 2: Think about your life and make a list of ten specific things you are thankful for today. Not people…things. They can be recent or things that have been true for a long time. Try to avoid repeating your choices from day-to-day. Make an effort to list different items each day. You can start with simple things like your morning almond milk latte 🙂

Step 3: Every second day, refer back to the previous day’s list and write down 5 people who have helped you achieve the things you listed in step 2. Hold an image of that person in your mind as you recall why you’re grateful. It’s ok if the same names come up repeatedly.

Step 4: Write one or two sentences of appreciation to each person you thought of. You don’t need to send it.

Step 5: You can take it a step further and share your gratitude with some of the people on your list. This can actually help your individual mindfulness to manifest itself in your relationships.

Another awesome way to start including gratitude in your life is through the Five Minute Journal. The templates are already set up for you every day. Our CEO, Jonna, uses it on a daily basis and is obsessed with it! It even includes daily positive quotes and weekly challenges. Check it out!