3 best tips from a psychologist to stretch the “muscles of the soul”
Practicing gratitude is a simple and effective way to connect with your spirituality. Without a doubt, it is appropriate to start a gratitude journal. However, “most people [write a] gratitude journal at the end of the day,” says DeSteno. “That’s great, but it means you’ll feel grateful 20 minutes before you go to bed.”
Whereas, if you want your gratitude to influence your daily activities and interactions, you’ll want to include it earlier in your routine.
He refers to a practice in Judaism called “Nissim B’chol Yom” (which translates to “daily miracles”) where people give thanks frequently throughout the day. “There are all these very short blessings that you can give for a lot of things—a beautiful sunset, your health, a beautiful painting, a good night’s sleep, whatever it is,” explains DeSteno. “It sparks a microdose of gratitude throughout the day.”
He is now leading a study, likely to be published later this year, to see if this “microdosing” approach is more effective than practicing gratitude before bed. For now, he recommends focusing on gratitude during the day when those emotions can really affect you.