Gratitude opens up your way of thinking and can elevate your mood.
I know this for myself when I am in a funk, just the simple practice of appreciation can bring a huge difference into my day. When I get down, it’s because I have forgotten to do so. A little bit of gratefulness goes a long way! Be it in meditation, writing in a journal or taking a walk.
We say “thanks” many times throughout the day. You may say it automatically when a cashier hands you your change or when someone holds the door for you. But how often do you really allow yourself to truly experience that gratitude? Gratitude goes far beyond common courtesy — it’s not just something you offer for the other person’s sake. In fact, this rich, shimmering quality has the power to affect your emotions and change the way you feel.
The truth about gratitude
Gratitude uplifts and opens up your way of thinking. It can restore a sense of appreciation and optimism, energize your spirit, and renew your perspective. When you take the time to really feel gratitude, even for the challenges you face in life, your outlook can shift, and even help you find solutions.
TIP: GO FOR A GRATITUDE WALK
In many religious traditions, gratitude is expressed through a blessing–of a person, an event, a marriage, an object. But you don’t need to subscribe to any particular belief system to experience or to offer one. In the act of “blessing,” you simply become aware of the gift before you, whatever it is, and appreciate its presence and value, wishing that the best comes of it. That’s it. You acknowledged the good stuff, rather than focus on the bad stuff–something we could all do more of.
What you’ll learn
Discover the powerful effect gratitude can have on your mood and outlook. Tuning in to that sense of gratitude alone will bring more joy, peace, and passion into your life. A heart-centered meditation will help you experience the healing energy of your own heart where gratitude resides.
Go for a gratitude walk. Drop what you’re doing for 15 minutes and, if you can, go outside and start walking. The rule is that during your walk, you are not allowed to think about work or replay scenarios (real or imagined) in your head.
First, focus only on the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, your legs stretching and your hips opening up, your breathing getting deeper and more relaxed. Then turn your attention to all of the things in your life that you are happy about–whether it’s a loving relationship, a nice home, or a satisfying career. Now let those more obvious things give way to the more subtle things that you might never have thought about, but also contribute joy to your life, that infuse you with pure gratitude. At the end of these 15 minutes (or longer if you like), return to what you were doing and notice your energy. Has it changed? How do you feel now?
How I Can Help
Be sure to access my Meditation Pebbles Podcast for easy five minute practices you can do at anytime. If you would like to work more with the breath and quieting the mind, be sure to explore my meditation and mindfulness instruction information as well as mindfulness coaching to help you release judgments and limiting beliefs.
One series to take note of is the Mindfulness in Everyday Life. In this self-paced online study series, we’ll explore together how mindfulness meditation can help relieve stress. You’ll learn breathing focus meditations, body scan and awareness meditation, and working with distractions such as your thoughts, sounds, emotions, and pain in the body. One-on-one sessions are included.