Change Your Life in 5 Minutes With Gratitude

Flower In The Rough
Plant growing on the stone staircase.

At Gardenuity, we are all about growing. We believe, without a doubt, that gardening improves your life. And that’s chiefly because growing grows gratitude. While eating veggies every day can revolutionize your health, spending five minutes a day being grateful can change your life, the lives of those around you, and the world.

Harvard mental Health Letter states:

…gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships…regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.

Friends Practicing Gratuity
Group of women friends holding hands together against sunset

Recently, I was waiting in the baggage area at an airport and witnessed 100+ special needs children and adults waiting with their parents and caregivers for the bags. The laughter and happiness in the room was contagious.

Amongst the crowd, I saw dozens of camp volunteers. They looked tired as they tried to coordinate people, parents, students, etc. in the middle of what seemed like controlled happy chaos. At times, it was like watching a kindergarten teacher try to control a group of 50 students on the playground after ice cream.

What was remarkable was the true joy these volunteers had — you could see it in their eyes, in their body language, and hear it in their tone. They were being asked to be in Instagram moments and selfies, they were giving 3rd and 4th hugs, they were wiping tears on some of their campers, and some of them shed their own tears.

I saw this and thought, “Where do these people come from? How do they get this way?” In our world, we applaud being fast and first. We laud first out-the-door, first to have, first in show. Yet, these people were taking their time, nurturing others, and appreciating the moment, and they were truly happy.

What I’ve found is people who share joy are full of gratitude, and they bring this gratitude to every day. So I set out to explore how I could truly grow gratitude in my already busy day, and I’ve found that growing gratitude is something we can all do — quite simply. All it takes is 300 seconds a day.

Child Practicing Gratitude
Blond toddler girl with big blue eyes making a funny faces.

Here are a few ideas on how to grow your gratitude in five minutes a day.

Make a Daily Practice

Create a daily practice of recording something you’re grateful for. EX: “Today I am thankful for ____.” Write it on a post-it note and put it up where you will see it! It can be as simple as, “Today my pants fit,” or, “Today, it started raining after I got to work.” Keep it simple, lower the pressure, and make it something you can stick with.

Acknowledge the People Around You

Send a thoughtful text message to one new friend every day. Remind them why you are grateful that your worlds have collided. Or just tell them you’re thankful for their support or that you met! Text everyone from your mother to that friend you just met — you’ll quickly realize how many people you have in your life to be grateful for.

Practice Recognizing the Ordinary

Make it a practice to notice ordinary things that are actually extraordinary. The building that holds 500, the complexity of the freeway system, the ease of your phone, the mountain on your left…there are so many things we take for granted in our life. Try and notice how grateful you are for those things daily — it’ll change your life and the way you perceive the world around you.

Meditate on a Loved One

Think of at least 1 person every day that you are deeply grateful for and think about two specific things you are appreciative for. Allow yourself a few minutes to really ponder on it — how those things have changed your life for the better.

Grow and Tend to a Garden

Plant a garden and everyday, as you take 5 minutes to water or check on your plant, stand in awe of nature — how it’s growing and working in tandem with its environment. Plants are resilient, beautiful, and imperative to our survival. Recognize how lucky we are to have them!

Show Yourself Some Self Love

This is maybe my favorite way to grow gratitude (gardening being a close second). Everyday, thank yourself for waking up today, for moving forward in life, and for being present. No matter how you feel, show yourself some love and gratitude and those things will grow in the world around you.

Want to know a little more about how growing gratitude will change your life? Here’s a quick read on 5 ways to grow gratitude.