I guess we all know its a good feeling to be grateful, and intuitively, we understand this to be true. When we are grateful for the positives in our lives, we tend to feel happy and content with the world as it is. Aligned with the present moment in these glimpses of appreciation, our mental health, our relationships, and our experience of life are heightened. While all of this we sense to be true, we don’t always experience alignment with this and even sometimes the power of gratitude is hidden beneath the “monkey mind” that can get caught up in thoughts and beliefs contrary to gratitude.
As we deepen our understanding of why gratitude is so powerful and gain insights into how we can harness gratitude (by listening to a meditation on gratitude, for instance or journaling in the morning), we enhance our ability to go to that place of appreciation more frequently. As we do this, we enrich, restore, and revitalize our lives in many beneficial ways, I love those words!
A friend and I were talking the other day about the impact our meditation practice is having on our lives. She went on to tell me that sometimes she feels so tired in the evening that she leaves the dishes in the kitchen overnight as she can’t face tidying up before bed…..Now, normally if she didn’t practice meditation she would wake up and automatically start thinking of the mess in the kitchen and hence send her into a stream of negative chatter in her mind, thus impacting on her day! Scenario 2…… the evening before, she practices meditation before bedtime….wakes up the next morning and thinks…….oh. yea, the dishes are in the kitchen….. I better stick them in the dishwasher……what’s the difference….. She’s calm, composed, in control, and hey, it’s no biggie, they’re a few dishes after all!
We can cultivate gratitude through a variety of practices, including the following:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal can help you to shift your perception of your surroundings by encouraging you to open your heart and mind to the abundance that already exists. In your journal, start by listing ten things you have to be grateful for in the present moment – big or small. Then, see if you can add another ten – and another ten. As you dive deeper into the abundance and that exists on multiple levels in your reality, you will start to gain a heightened appreciation for life and for all that you are enriched with. abundance.
2. Take a walk in nature
My favourite – exploring nature is the most grounding way to reconnect with the beauty of our natural surroundings. Take a walk in nature and tune into all five senses, seeing if you can move into deeper awareness with that elements that surround you. Tune into the the air that fills your lungs, the earth beneath your feet, and the vibrancy and vitality that is reflected back to you.
3. Send a message of appreciation to a friend.
Expressing gratitude is a powerful practice that can strengthen our understanding of just how powerful gratitude really is. Write a WhatsApp to someone you love, letting them know all the reasons you are grateful to be their friend. (I know, I know….. your thinking WTF….. honestly just try it……. try it with a good friend you trust)
4. Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to start your day. Keep it simple, use it as a tool to keep track of all the good things in life. Set aside 5 mins….and watch the feeling shift from “OK” to “great” on a more regular basis.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and please feel free to share with anyone you think might like a read. Now back to my Yoga teacher training….. this weekend I am preparing a 1 hr yoga class to my college peers, exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time, but as the saying goes:
You make a life out of what you have, not what you haven’t.
Have a pleasant day!