It’s Thanksgiving season and with everything that’s been happening in the world recently, this season I am choosing more than ever to cultivate a profound sense of gratitude and I encourage you to do the same. I have been keeping a gratitude journal since I was a child and I wasn’t aware of the amazing power of gratitude at that time.
Let me share with you from my personal experience, that if you make time for a little gratitude each day, you will be amazed by the results. Gratitude alerts your vibration by moving you from negative energy to positive. Always choose appreciation for who you are and what you have. This shouldn’t just be an intellectual or mental exercise, it should “touch” you and fill you up emotionally.
Because, when you genuinely fill yourself up with the emotion of appreciation, it changes how you feel and it completely alters the actions you take and the results you create.
The research around gratitude is fascinating and suggests that gratitude is a gateway drug to happiness. By simply recalling a few things that you are grateful for each day, helps to train your brain to think more positively.
The writer Alexis de Tocqueville describes gratitude as “a habit of heart”.
Start by giving thanks for small things and watch your bounty increase; it’s the little things in life that mean the most.
I begin my day with gratitude and I finish my day with gratitude. For me every morning when I wake up, no matter how the day looks my heart swells with gratitude. I strongly believe, that life is a gift and each day is a gift. No matter where you are and what you are doing for a living, when it comes to what really matters it’s “what makes your heart sing ?”.
Here are some of my favorite things:
- A long chat with my best friend
- The smell of grass after it rains
- Walking on the beach and listening to the waves
- A great book
- Making fresh pancakes on a Friday morning
- Watching the sunset
- Cooking and baking with fresh organic ingredients
- Reading in my favorite place: on my hammock by the river
- Sleeping till my body wants to wake up
- Exercise – I love working out and how my body feels after it
- Meditation – being still and enjoying the silence
We tend to take for granted the good that is already present in our lives: the ability to walk, see, hear, smell, touch or anything that gives us comfort.
Start by finding joy in small things, instead of holding out for big achievements – get the car, get the house, get the job and see your life beginning to change.
Once you become orientated towards looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis. He found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being.
Why does gratitude do so much good? “More than other emotions, gratitude is the emotion of friendship,” says Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami. “It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person. Gratitude is what happens when someone does something that causes you to realize that you matter more to that person than you thought you did.”
Here are a few of my favorite gratitude practices for you to try:
- Keep a gratitude journal – take time each day to write 5 things that you are grateful for and use that time to reflect on the events that you are most grateful for.
- Carry a physical token of gratitude such a small stone, a charm or some other small item that will act as a reminder.
- Appreciate who you are and what you have right now.
Regardless of how you choose to do it, find a way to express gratitude daily and be ready for amazing things to happen. What are you grateful for today?
“Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.”