Healthy Habits, Mental Health, Mindset, Self-Management, Transformation

How to Improve Your Day in 45 Seconds

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There are many things you can (and should) do to increase your overall happiness levels, but only a handful of them are as powerful as gratitude.

Take it from me: there was a time not so long ago when I didn’t have a community, not a single loved one around me, no emotional or financial support, no income, and I no longer had my health. I was even temporarily disabled without knowing at the time that it would be temporary or that it would improve.

But I was happy.

Do you know why? Because I was grateful!

(And yes, you can be grateful even in the midst of illness).

A few months before that, I had money, a great job, a great relationship, friends, and health (sorta) … but I was M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E.

Conscious practice of gratitude is the single best thing you can do to increase your happiness right now.

It has even been proven by research: gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness.

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The problem with gratitude is that most people think they have to fake it, which makes them uncomfortable, so they don’t do it.

Gratitude is not about pretending; it’s about patiently looking for and finding even the tiniest things to be grateful for—things that you totally overlook in your day-to-day, self-absorbed, negative, and totally useless inner monologue.

Yes, you can (and should) be grateful for the fact that you can breathe easily and without any help. Have you ever been sick? Just think about it for a second. Do you realize that there are people who struggle every time they have to take a breath?

change your life in 45 seconds

It’s the amount of time it takes to say even the shortest “prayer” in the morning, one where you give thanks for all the blessings in your life and the ones to come.

Now I’ll be honest, my little gratitude prayer usually lasts about 2:30/3 minutes.

But you can keep it even shorter and sweeter, especially when you are first trying it out or feel skeptical or reluctant.

gratitude for nature

It’s hard to explain how gratitude changes you, but it does. It changes the way you view your life and the way you view opportunities, challenges, and people… It changes everything!

Here are a few ways gratitude changes my life and can improve yours too:

  1. When you notice and focus on all the blessings in your life (instead of everything that you consider “wrong”), it lowers your stress levels and anxiety.
  2. The same thing happens when you turn struggles into blessings.
  3. Instead of seeing only difficulties, challenges, and negative situations, you now see your strengths, capabilities, opportunities, and kindness in people.
  4. You begin to see opportunities everywhere.
  5. When you see the negative, you become wary; when you focus on gratitude, you become more trusting. Trust is one of the main factors (if not the first factor) that correlates to personal happiness.
  6. You complain a lot less. As a result, you have less room in your life for negative people who complain a lot. If you are brave enough to let these people go, your life and overall happiness improve significantly.
  7. Gratitude opens up new possibilities in your life.
  8. It helps you improve your health and build stronger relationships.
  9. When you are grateful, you start to relinquish the desire to control everything external to you. You let go of judgment and expectations, making acceptance easier and allowing you to find peace.
  10. I’m pretty sure staying grateful and practicing gratitude during my health crisis is what kept me going, gave me the strength to keep searching for solutions, maintained my faith (without expecting to heal), and ultimately helped me heal.

Starting my day, every single day, with a gratitude prayer has not only transformed me but also helped me change my energy levels, moving me from lower vibrations (like Shame, Guilt, Fear, Anger) to higher frequencies (like Love, Joy, and Peace).

It doesn’t matter if you are a believer or not, Christian or not. But I do believe it helps if you believe in something greater than yourself: Nature, a Force, the Universe.

It also helps to say it out loud or to write it down: saying it in my head just does not work the same.

Since writing takes a lot more time, dedication, and discipline, I recommend starting by saying it out loud, like a prayer first, especially if you are lazy or reluctant to start.

Your Posture

Your posture matters while performing your morning gratitude prayer.

It’s a moment of communion between you and your Higher Self, you and the Universe, you and God.

I do it sitting in bed or on the floor, usually after my morning stretch.

Sit with your back upright but not too rigid. I personally like to join hands, and I consciously smile, both inwards and outwards while I say the words. But you can also sit in the lotus position or simply rest your hands on your thighs.

gratitude prayer

Why in the Morning?

The best way to improve your whole day in less than 45 seconds is by taking that moment to practice gratitude as soon as, or not long after, you wake up.

That’s because the way you start your day will determine the rest of your day.

I’ll say this one more time: the way you start your day will determine the rest of your day.

You don’t need to stress and try to “control” your actions during your whole day: start by “controlling” what you do with your mornings, and you will see a major improvement in your life in general.

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gratitude prayer prompts

Steal my short and very powerful gratitude prayer.

I apply gratitude to the past, the present, and the future.

Gratitude for the Present

  • Thank you God/Universe/Infinite Spirit/My Higher Self/Allah, etc., for this good night’s sleep.
  • Even if I only slept 4 hours, it was a good 4 hours where I slept like a baby.
  • Thank you for this wonderful, clean, comfortable bed that is all mine.
  • Thank you for this wonderful summer night/winter morning/fall morning. I can see the leaves from my window: how peaceful.
  • Thank you for the birds chirping at my window this morning.
  • Thank you for my ears. I’m so grateful for them. They allow me to hear my neighbor blasting her music at 6 AM.
  • Thank you for giving me noisy neighbors; it means I am not alone on this earth. Life is a lot easier thanks to other humans.
  • I am so grateful for the blue sky this morning/the rain/the snow/the fog.
  • Thank you for squirrels, dogs, birds, ducks (whatever animals reside in your area). They make life so much more fuzzy, furry, and cute.
  • I’m so grateful for my eyes; they allow me to see the sky, trees, and clouds through my window.
  • Thank you for waking me up without a single bad news from my family. Thanks for keeping my loved ones safe during the night.
gratitude prayer prompts

Gratitude for the Past

  • Thank you, Universe, for this wonderful day I had yesterday.
  • Thank you for hearing my prayers and giving me the strength to face X, Y, or Z situation I was worried about.
  • I am so grateful for yesterday! Thank you for this wonderful talk I had with my mom over the phone.
  • Thank you for answering my prayers; yesterday went so well! I am so grateful for meeting X person at X, Y, Z event; they made my evening better.
  • Thank you for putting that nice cashier on my path at the grocery store; her smile and kindness cheered me up when I was feeling sad.

Gratitude for the Future

  • I am so grateful for this brand-new day ahead.
  • It is filled with possibilities.
  • Please give me strength for this day.
  • Help me stay true to myself, act with kindness, remain calm when necessary, and behave in alignment with my goals and inner self.
  • You can see that I feel low today. I don’t know what to expect during this meeting, and to be honest, I don’t want to go. Please bless this day, this meeting, take the reins, and give me the strength to see the good in whatever will come from this day/meeting/encounter.
  • Dear Universe, I am ready for more. You can see my situation/bank account/heart (etc.), and you can see that I need help. I trust that you will send me help or bring to me what You think is best.
tree in the fog

Gratitude Prayer for When You Are Feeling Low

Sometimes I am going through a hard time, and it feels harder to say a gratitude prayer. I still do it, but I focus on the present.

  • First, don’t forget to breathe, feel your body, and smile.
  • Then say thanks for this present moment. Is it peaceful? (If you are not in a country at war; if you have a place to sleep, a bed that’s yours, a room where you feel safe, then this present moment is wonderful).
  • Remember: it’s not about changing how you feel. Don’t try to feel “happy.” Just feel whatever it is you are feeling (sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety…), and offer it to the Universe.
  • And ask: ask for acceptance. Ask for courage to face the day. Ask that the Universe brings you solace as soon as It sees fit. For example, I can be grateful for my sadness; it helps me appreciate the happier days more.
Gratitude prayer

Right now, I’m grateful for YOU, reading this post. You are making a positive difference in my life, me, a stranger. Just because you can’t see or fathom something, does not mean it’s not possible or not happening. A big part of Gratitude is Faith. Yes, even as a non-believer.

Do you struggle to find things to be grateful for? Let me know in the comments, maybe we can find things for you to be grateful for together 😊

Read Next: 13 (Not So Secret) Secrets to a Happy Life

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About Steph

I am a personal growth/self-management enthusiast. I was able to completely transform my life using everything I share here. I hope this blog helps you transform yours as well.
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