A 12-Minute Meditation for Cultivating Daily Gratitude

In this guided meditation, Kim Armstrong walks you through a simple practice to expand your capacity for gratitude in the everyday moments of life.

Adobe Stock | Adriana

We often think about gratitude as happening in response to “good” things, especially if those moments or events are also significant—a new job, a windfall, an amazing vacation.

But what about moments that aren’t grand or overtly happy, but are small and emotionally neutral? What does it feel like to notice, take in, and consciously appreciate even the basic things we do every single day?

This week, join Kim Armstrong as she leads a gratitude visualization practice. This gentle meditation invites you to shift your gaze inward and discover the often-overlooked moments of joy and contentment that punctuate your day. Kim guides us to visualize the warm embrace of our morning coffee, the soft light of dawn, or the comfort of a familiar smile. By focusing on these simple yet profound experiences, we grow our capacity for gratitude, because we begin to realize we can appreciate everything from the mundane to the magnificent.

A Guided Meditation for Cultivating Daily Gratitude

A 12-Minute Meditation for Cultivating Daily Gratitude by Kim Armstrong

  1. This practice can be done in the evenings before bed. You can also do it in the mornings, looking back at the day before.
  2. Begin by finding a comfortable posture of your choice. You can do this practice while sitting, standing, or lying down. Shift your body to find what’s comfortable. 
  3. Whenever you feel ready, take three breaths. Breathe in through your nose, and exhale through your nose or your mouth.  
  4. Take a few relaxing breaths. Close your mouth and breathe in slowly through your nose. Then let it out through either your nose or your mouth.
  5. First, tune in to a moment this morning, or yesterday morning, when you first woke up. Note one or two things that you appreciate or are thankful for about that moment. Maybe it was your warm bed, or the pet or the partner sleeping next to you.
  6. Next, move to the moment right after you woke up. It can be anything that springs to mind—putting on your slippers, making a little stretch, brushing your teeth. Note this and say it to yourself, even out loud if you wish. 
  7. Now, keep moving through the morning, taking note of things you remember. For example, the sounds of loved ones, the delicious taste of your coffee or your tea, your cozy robe or your favorite outfit or socks. They can be very small things. 
  8. Next, consider that transition between home life and work life, noticing something you appreciate, something you’re grateful for from that moment.
  9. Keep moving to the next phase of your day—when you were digging into work, school, or caregiving. Take note of something you appreciated in an interaction with a colleague or loved one: a little bit of humor, a little laughter, a little lightness or ease.
  10. Move on to midday, and again, just flag with gratitude some simple moments. This could be the tastes and smells of your lunch, intentionally focusing on all the steps and people involved in bringing you this meal.  
  11. Continue on in this same way, going through the rest of your day: gratitude for the purpose you served that day, for leaving work and arriving home, for moments in your evening as you wound down from the day, a pleasant meal or conversation, a favorite TV show, a comforting beverage. This could be placing your hand on your heart, or giving yourself a hug—whatever would feel soothing and reassuring. 
  12. Remember, these moments do not have to be grand. For this exercise, it’s perfect if they’re small or emotionally neutral, moments you’d usually pass right over and not notice at all. You can say Thank you, in your head or even out loud.
  13. Notice how it feels in your body to go over your day like this. What’s happening? What is the experience like for you?
  14. Close with a breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. 
  15. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this gratitude practice.