A Super Simple Practice to Build Gratitude
To build abundance — whether that means wealth, a great relationship, being rich in friends, rewarding experiences, or however you define it — there is no better way to get there than gratitude.
Being thankful for what you have raises your energy to a fantastic vibration. It magnetizes you, signaling to the universe that you are ready to attract even more.
This week I discovered the simplest gratitude exercise ever. It takes almost zero effort, yet it can powerfully tell the universe, you’re ready.
Sleep.org defines sleep architecture as the physical phase of a 90-minute sleep cycle. There are four phases, three of which are non-rapid eye-movement (NREM) and the fourth is rapid-eye-movement (REM).
- NREM1: Transitioning from being awake into sleep
- NREM2: Light sleep
- NREM3: Deep sleep
- REM: Dream sleep
As you sleep at night, you pass through such a cycle, wake up briefly, and then roll back into the next cycle.
Birth of a practice
Several nights ago, I rolled out of one of my sleep cycles and woke up. I looked over at the alarm clock. It was 1:07 a.m., way too early to consider getting up and starting the day. So I prepared to roll over and fall back asleep. However, I had been reading about gratitude during the day, so it came to mind.
I felt the softness of the mattress beneath me. I felt the sheets and the comforter surrounding me. I felt the pillow beneath my head.
And I thought to myself,
I’m grateful for this comfortable bed.
Next, I felt my presence in the room around me. I sensed not only the four walls, but the empty space between myself in the bed and the walls and the furniture.
I’m grateful for this room to sleep in, and for this apartment.
I felt the draft of the heating system blowing air into the room, keeping me nice and cozy on a night when the outside temperature was scheduled to dip to freezing.
I’m grateful to be warm.
I glanced over at my bedroom windows and remembered the world outside.
I’m grateful that tomorrow, I will be in the world outside that window, where I will see my friends and the many people who care about me.
Then I went back to sleep.
I’ve done this practice every night since. Because it’s been less than a week, I would not call it a habit yet. However, I’ve already experienced benefits.
What better time to connect with your subconscious mind?
The whole purpose of having a practice is to communicate messages of gratitude and abundance to your subconscious mind, to signal to the universe that you’re open for even more. There’s no time when you’re in more direct contact with your subconscious mind than as you drift in and out of sleep.
The ego has far less power over you when you are not fully awake. Why not use its absence to build a more beautiful reality?
You accomplish something before you even get out of bed
How nice is it to be able to tick an item off your to-do list as soon as your feet touch the floor?
People talk about having to schedule a time for their practice. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your practice completed before you even look at your schedule?
You can’t have gratitude and worry in your mind at the same time
How often do you wake up and start worrying about events you will have to face in the coming day?
Maybe it’s paying the bills. Maybe it’s a doctor's visit. Maybe it’s a meeting at work. It’s very easy for your mind to glom onto something and worry about as you lie there in bed… and then that next sleep cycle never kicks off, and you find yourself groggy and stressed in the morning.
Train your mind to default into gratitude when you wake up, and you’ll be much more likely to roll back into another cycle of refreshing, replenishing sleep.
You can stack a daily gratitude practice on top of your nightly practice
Even if you do nothing else at all besides a nightly practice, you will likely find your pathway to the universe has been opened considerably.
However, gratitude practices are more powerful when you stack them. Imagine if you stacked a daily practice on top of this simple nightly one. That practice could be a gratitude journal, meditation, visualization, or generosity and kindness to others.
Think of this nightly practice as a force multiplier for your daily practice.
Give it a try
Tonight as you awaken between sleep cycles, try the practice out and see what it does for you.
You can modify the script however you want. For example, if you live on a farm, you might not be able to walk right down the street and see other people as I do in the city — but you’d likely be grateful for the land, the peacefulness, the animals.
Benefits I’ve experienced include a sense of accomplishment before getting up, a direct line to the subconscious mind, elimination of worry, and the ability to stack additional gratitude practices during the day. You may find additional benefits, and if so, I invite you to share them in the comments.
Let’s keep in touch! Feel free to sign up for my newsletter. Here’s another article of mine about gratitude: