Cultivating Gratitude and The Importance of it

November is known to be Thanksgiving month in the United States. The US isn’t the only country that has a holiday dedicated to gratitude. All around the world, there are variations of the Thanksgiving celebration. Giving thanks is universal, and you don’t need a holiday to express your gratitude.

Why Practice Gratitude

A daily dose of gratitude is key to success and happiness, even good health. In a study done by two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough, participants who wrote about things they were grateful for during the week were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than those who wrote about daily irritations and those who simply wrote about events that happened without emphasizing on the negative or positive.

Grateful people also enjoy better relationships in their personal and professional lives. They receive more help from others and are also more likely to extend their support to other people. Gratitude also makes you more understanding, compassionate, and empathetic.

Researchers have also found evidence that suggests how gratitude positively impacts mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It reduces stress levels. You’ll sleep better. It also builds emotional awareness. And the list goes on.

Best Ways to Practice Gratitude

Each day gives you an opportunity to be grateful. You don’t have to wait for something grand to happen in your life. Gratitude is all about appreciating what you already have instead of always wishing that you’ll be happier if only…this or that.

For many of us, it may be hard to always focus on what we have instead of what we lack but through practice, it will eventually become second nature to you. Here are some of the best ways to practice gratitude.

Take a few minutes per day to think about things you’re grateful for.

This doesn’t have to take a chunk of your time. You can reflect and ponder about things you’re grateful for while doing a chore or routine. To this daily and it will become a habit.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Write down things you are grateful for in a journal. It’s a quick way of reminding yourself of the blessings you’ve received. You don’t have to do it daily. Writing once or twice a week in your journal is enough.

To make journaling more effective, make a conscious decision to become more grateful and happier. Another important thing to remember is to emphasize more on going into details why you are grateful for something rather than simply coming up with a long superficial list of things.

Focus on people you’re grateful for. Reflect on what kind of life you would be having without the blessings you’ve right now. Don’t forget to keep a record of unexpected events or good surprises in your life.

Thank people verbally or in writing.

What better way to practice gratitude than letting other people know how much they are appreciated. It can make you and the other person happier and at the same, it nurtures your relationship.

Write a thank-you letter or an email to let the person know the impact they have in your life. Even a text message works. Do it at least once a month. You can also write one address to yourself.

And of course, don’t forget to say thank you or thank people more often. It could be a friend, a spouse, a co-worker, a sibling, a barista, a street cleaner, or anyone. Don’t wait for a special occasion or holiday to do so. Go beyond saying thank you. Tell the person how their action benefited you. It’s also one way for you to reflect more on what impact the person had in your life and it makes the other person feel recognized and validated.

Make it a daily habit to do simple acts of kindness.

A sincere compliment. Saying thank you. Preparing a meal. An unexpected small gift. A simple act of kindness can go a long way. When you do something nice, it often brings something more in return.  Being kind to others is one way of expressing and increasing your sense of gratitude. According to Drs. Screenivasan and Weinberger, knowing you are kind to other people heightens the sense of your own good fortune. It also deepens your connection to others.

Say a prayer or meditate.

It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not, you can always say a prayer to express your gratitude. When saying a prayer, give thanks to specific blessings you have received.

Mindfulness meditation is also one way of practicing gratitude. Instead of focusing on a word or phrase while meditating, focus on what you’re grateful for at the moment. It could be a pleasant sound, a nice breeze, etc.

Create Affirmations

What you can also do is start your day with gratitude affirmations. Repeating positive affirmations is one of the simplest ways you can tap into your subconscious mind and it will help in guiding your mind to think more positively. Say these affirmations again before going to sleep at night.

Heal With Reiki Sessions

If overwhelming stress, negative thoughts, and feelings keep you from focusing on the good in your life, Reiki can help with that. Reiki sessions help with realigning your mental, physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual bodies to release negative blocks of energy while taking in healing positive energy, safely, effectively, and naturally. It can heal negative patterns by healing places within us that are blocked, causing us to have a harder time tapping into the state of true gratitude. Imagine your energy body as a dirty window that has never been properly clean. You may find lots of stains, dirt, mold even. Reiki is an effective way to clean that stained window and even add in some powerful cleaning agents to try and keep the space clean for a while. Just with anything, with regular cleaning, the cleaner and clearer your window stays. Reiki is a powerful tool that can help change our perspective and behavior to focus on our blessings and arrive in a real state of heart-centeredness and true abundance. Learn more about Reiki sessions here. Distant sessions are also available and you can learn more about Distant Reiki sessions work here.

Remember…

Practicing gratitude may feel contrived at first but keep at it. It takes conscious effort to be grateful but if you continue doing it, it will eventually become natural to you. Like any skill, it gets stronger through use and practice over time. The effort you put into it is going to be more than worth it.

A grateful heart attracts positivity. It REALLY does. You will see things differently (in a good way, of course). You’ll be able to easily recognize blessings that come your way. You’ll strengthen your relationship with others. You’ll be happier and even healthier. Ultimately, you’ll be able to get more out of life. And the cherry on top is that shifting your perspective towards gratitude is free and can stay with you for your lifetime!

THANK YOU for taking the time and energy to read this. I hope it serves you and those you wish to share gratitude with well!