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Gratitude & Zentangle: Tangled Bliss

The Zentangle Method™️ follows 8 steps, and the first one is about gratitude and appreciation. As Zentangle celebrates its 20th anniversary, I thought it'd be cool to do a series inspired by their 8-Step Zentangle Method™️ but with my own spin. So, here kicks off a casual series, just going with the flow of Zentangle's 20th-year celebration.

In Zentangle, before we start drawing any tangles, we practice gratitude and appreciation. Did you know they are two different things? I didn't. Here's the difference:

  • Gratitude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

  • Appreciation: recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.

This Zentangle bookmark highlights the 8 steps:

The benefits of gratitude are many and well-proven, including improved mental health, enhanced sleep quality, reduced stress levels and more.

I've been practising gratitude for many years now. If I'm worrying or feeling anxious, it's the quickest way to get out of my head. I really enjoy the simple pleasures in life and want to notice the special moments in my day.

One of the things we used to do as a family was play what we called The Gratitude Game. It was very simple. Share 3 things you're grateful for and why. The rules: No repeats! That's it. It became a daily practice that we all really loved.

Now, my practice is a bit different in that I think of 3 things I'm grateful for each day and write them in my Bullet Journal. Sometimes, I have a longer list, and sometimes, just the 3 things are enough. Either way, it's a really lovely practice to get into.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had some incredibly tough things to deal with, but even through my challenges, I know there are always things to be grateful for. Gratitude can be a powerful tool even in extremely difficult times.

As a mindset coach and mentor, I have worked for years on my own mindset, and it will always be a work in progress. When things get really tough, I pull out my gratitude journal and leave it out on the side. Anything and everything gets put in my journal, and over the day, I notice how much lighter I feel.

At the end of each day, we have Alexa ask us this question: 'What's the best thing that's happened today?' It's a lovely way to close out the day as you scan through your whole day to find the best thing.

In Zentangle, we appreciate the time we have to draw and the supplies we use. We're also thankful for the people we're surrounded with.

I start my Tangle Time sessions with gratitude, and it sets the scene for the session.

This is just step 1 of the Zentangle Method. Here are the 7 remaining steps:

2. Dots

3. Border

4. String

5. Tangle

6. Shading

7. Initial and sign

8. Gratitude and appreciation.

As you can see from above, gratitude and appreciation are so important that it comes up twice!

The practice of gratitude greatly enhances the Zentangle experience. When people come to a session, they can be thinking about stressful life issues, disagreeing with someone, or running late- all things that don't make them feel very zen! When we move the session into a place of gratitude, the mood lifts and people start smiling as they remember simple things that have boosted their happiness in some way.

Gratitude Practice

If this sounds like something you're interested in, how do you get started?

Keep It Simple

It can be as simple as thinking of three things you're grateful for or even one thing if three feel too hard to begin with. Then, ask yourself why you're grateful. This makes gratitude more powerful and encourages appreciation.


Your practice can be at any time of the day. You can use a journal to record your thoughts, or perhaps write on little pieces of paper and add them to a 'Gratitude Jar'.

If you find it difficult to think of things to be grateful for, these journalling prompts might help:

  • What makes/made you smile?

  • What simple pleasure are you grateful for right now?

  • What have you learnt this week?

  • What one small victory have you had?

  • What insights have you gained?

  • How were you able to help someone?

Express Gratitude to Others 

Thank someone new every day or focus on finding gratitude in challenging situations.

Think about someone you appreciate but haven't told recently. Share your feelings or send them a little note telling them how amazing they are!

Whether you tangle (the process of doing Zentangle) or not, consider adding gratitude to your day. It's a game-changer for how you feel.

I'd love to hear back from you if you decide to add gratitude to your life and tiles!

Each week in my Tangletastic Facebook group, I have a post asking people to share about gratitude. Come and join us; share one thing you're grateful for and your experience of gratitude. I'd love to learn how you incorporate more gratitude into your life.

I've just thought of someone I want to send gratitude to!

Before I go, though, I'd like to thank YOU! Thank you for being here and taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate your support :)

Ciao for now!


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