Updated: Apr 30
At the beginning of the year, I brought a yoga journal – a diary to record my thoughts, feelings and insights as well as my yoga and meditation progress.
The journal contains a section to record gratitude each day. This is how I started a new daily practise that has become a powerful and vital part of my day – expressing gratitude.
I challenged myself to write down at least 3 things I felt grateful for each day and surprisingly, it was easier than I thought. I found after a while that it became easier and easier to think of things that I’m grateful for and some days I could effortlessly think of 5 or 6 things to record. From practising gratitude for the last year, I have found it to have so many benefits for me as a person and also in my life.
It reduces negativity
Shortly after starting my new practice, I noticed how my perspective was shifting when I began to focus on what I already have in my life and the achievements I have already made. In turn, I stopped thinking so much about what I wished to have or wanted to change, which is such a common trait in us all. Paying attention to what we feel grateful for puts us in a positive frame of mind.
It helps us deal better with challenges
Whenever I find myself in a challenging situation I always try to do my gratitude practice. By doing this you consciously change your thought pattern from negative to positive. This helps us to see things with a fresh perspective which can enable us to find solutions to problems and deal with difficult situations and people in a better way.
It makes us feel happier and more joyful
According to research thankfulness is rated as highly similar to joy and contentment, and as highly dissimilar to contempt, hate, and jealousy. It raises our energy frequency, makes others more drawn to us, improves our relationships and spreads more joy and happiness to those around us.
It helps to attract what we want
I found that expressing gratitude to the universe would bring me more things to be grateful for. I could see the law of attraction working within my own life and by saying thanks for my blessings I became open to receiving more. The universal law of attraction says that we attract into our life the things we think about and focus on. So, when we are consciously aware of our blessings and are grateful for them, we are focusing more on the positive in our life - and are attracting more of these positive things.
It works the other way too. Focusing on and complaining about the negative things in our life is just going to attract more negativity. Energy flows where your intention goes. I’m sure you know someone in your life who seems to always attract drama. Think about this person and the energy they put out into the world. I could guess that they are always talking about and complaining about their problems.
When you complain about something you put more energy into it. Thoughts, like everything else in the universe, are energy, and by using the energy of thought you can manifest positive or negative things into your life? So, which would YOU like to create more of in YOUR life?
Creating your own gratitude practice
A practice of gratitude is one of the quickest and easiest but also the most powerful habits to bring into your day. All you need to do is think of 3 things that you feel grateful for each day. You can write them down, say them out loud or simply just think about them, however, by starting a gratitude journal you are more likely to remember to do the practice and you also create a record of your gratitude to read back on.
You can be grateful for the smallest things like a good meal or the simplest things like sunshine or nature. You can also be grateful for the same thing each day such as your health or someone in your life. Even on your worst day, it is impossible not to find something to be grateful for.
The most important thing is to bring it into your current routine. Try to express your gratitude at the same time every day, maybe in the morning before you go to work (you could do it as you are eating breakfast), or before you go to bed at night. Treat it like your other daily habits such as brushing your teeth and eventually you will do it without the need to prompt yourself.
So why not get started right now. Take a moment to think of 3 things that you feel grateful for RIGHT NOW. Maybe a person in your life, an experience or interaction you recently had, or something as general as being in good health or having a roof over your head.
Albert Einstein once said “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is although everything is a miracle”.
Which way do you choose to live yours?
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