Social media might have its drawbacks, but one thing I love about it is how it brings awareness to the masses of beneficial practices that some people might never have otherwise had exposure to.?Some of those practices include healthy eating, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, journaling, positive thinking, open spirituality, and of course–the importance of taking care of the Self as a whole being: mind, body, and spirit.
However, this time of year, the practice I see the most in status updates, tweets, and memes is the practice of gratitude. I’m constantly seeing hashtags like #30daysofgratitude or #100daysofgratitude or #feelinggr8ful.
You might be wondering, why such a focus on gratitude?
It’s easy to adapt a short-term gratitude practice during the month of November in the United States because Thanksgiving is in November. But I encourage people to adopt a daily gratitude practice. Why? It can change your life for the better. How do I know this? It happened to me.
Here are 3?ways having a daily gratitude practice can improve your life:
1. It helps you realize the blessings you already have, even if you think they’re insignificant. No matter where you’re from or what your place in this crazy world is, I guarantee you that you have something that someone else doesn’t have. Even if you’re someone who’s hungry and homeless you still have one thing that someone else doesn’t have–and that’s life. With the gift of life, you get to start anew every morning you wake up. You get to touch someone else’s life. You get to make a difference, even in a small way. Gratitude gives you freedom–freedom from the chains of greed.
2. Gratitude helps you manage your emotions and reduce stress. When we don’t focus on gratitude or appreciate and honor the blessings we’ve already received, we tend towards feelings of desperation, anxiety, entitlement, lack, chaos; and envy and animosity towards others who we believe have more than we do. None of these are relaxed, peaceful, positive, joyful, or loving emotions or energies. These emotions and energy increase stress in our own bodies, and also negatively affect those around us. They don’t serve us in any way, nor do they help us “get” what we believe we want. By practicing gratitude, we reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the feelings of not having, so we can focus more about prioritizing what it is we truly desire in life and also choose conscious actions to make dreams come true.
3. Gratitude can help you get what you truly desire in life. I first learned about the Law of Attraction, as well as the concept of gratitude as a daily practice from Rhonda Byrne’s now classic book, The Secret. My first experience with a daily gratitude practice was working with?The Secret Gratitude Journal. I began this practice when I was at a rather low point in my life. I was about 80 pounds overweight, I was living with adult acne, and I also was having issues with postpartum depression. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to be grateful. But I did it anyway. I deliberately filled the pages of that book with anything I could possibly identify in my life that I was grateful for. It was easy at first–I was grateful for my healthy kids, my life, my husband, food to eat, my home, etc. But once those were out of the way, I really had to reach. I even started being thankful for things I had not yet received–clear skin, a healthy weight, happiness and fulfillment in my life, etc. Without knowing at the time, what I did was set the stage for the Law of Attraction to work for me. How? Think about it like this. When you give someone a gift, doesn’t it make you happy when he or she expresses extreme gratitude and appreciation upon receiving it? Don’t you then start thinking about what else you can give them, and give as generously as you can with as much thought into the gift as possible to make that person happier and happier each time you give a gift? Sure you do–because giving feels best when what’s given is gratefully received. It works that way with the Universe too. The more gratitude you express for the blessings you’ve already been given the more the Universe will want to continue to give you on an ongoing basis.
At the end of every metaphysical mind treatment, prayer, or affirmation, we say these words:
“For this I am grateful, I let it be so, and so it is.” I love it–these words express gratitude for blessings already received as well as those that are already on their way, they affirm that we’re ready to receive them and are willing to make room for them in our lives, and finally, that what we desire is already ours. But it all begins with gratitude.