Discover how to change your life through the power of gratitude
Gratitude is a very powerful vibration. Staying in gratitude can really change your perspective, change your life.
There are many benefits to practicing gratitude. Hundreds of scientific studies have documented the social, physical, and psychological benefits. People who regularly practice gratitude are:
People who live in gratitude live in awareness of what is all around them. They are able to recognize and appreciate the good things in their life, in themselves, and in other people.
Gratitude practice has become something of a trend over the past few years. Maybe Oprah started it. She certainly is a strong advocate of gratitude practice. Her practice is to keep a gratitude journal every day. Here is what she says:
“I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”
What is a gratitude practice? It is the conscious recognition and reflection upon things you are thankful for. It’s the practice of noticing every day that you have so many things in your life for which you can truly be thankful. And not just keeping the thanks for momentous occasions and special celebrations. It’s about feeling that gratitude in your mind and heart everyday. It's about living in gratitude.
When you practice gratitude, you really understand how much you have to appreciate in your life. From your life-giving breath and healthy body, to the love and support of family and friends. From your local growers that fill up the stalls of your farmers market with fresh veggies to the spectacular world we live in. From the grip of you yoga mat keeping you solid to the inspiring yoga teacher you just took a class with and to the technology of Zoom. The bounty of goodness all around us is endless. All you have to do is notice.
There are many ways to practice gratitude daily. One of the easiest is to use a gratitude journal, writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for each day. For me, I’ve found that the easiest way is to add a timed one minute to the end of my meditation practice (using my meditation timer). For that minute, when I am calm and focused, I think about and list to myself some of the things I am grateful for at that moment, on that day.
And every time I lift my hands to the sky in tree pose (vrksasana), I thank my lucky stars.
Here are 5 more ways to cultivate gratitude daily.
1. CHANGE THE WAY YOU SAY “THANK YOU” - THIS MIGHT CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Have you ever noticed how often we all automatically say and write “thank you”? “Thank you” has become such an ordinary expression, like the word “nice”, a word that is so overused it has become generic and bland and almost meaningless. If you think about it more deeply, you will find so many other ways to express gratitude instead of the ubiquitous “thank you”. I like to identify for myself precisely what it is I’m thankful for, why, and how it makes me feel. It’s a very quick process. And it’s a wonderfully personal way of expressing gratitude to someone for something they have done for you. It will make them feel seen and authentically appreciated. Expressing how you felt from the gesture, what stood out most in what they did for you, and also expanding on the context puts the focus more on the contribution of the person you are thanking than on your gratitude. The possibilities are endless. You just have to use your imagination and your awareness. Something like this:
Instead of "Thanks for your help with my project":
Your input and support has truly given me the confidence I need to move forward with my projectInstead of "Thanks for a great evening":
You are an amazing host! I could see your attention in every detail, from the delicious food, to the exquisitely set table, to the choice of lively company. I'm still on cloud nine from the joy of it all!Instead of “Thanks for your gift/message/email” :
I was really touched by the warmth and support of your email, the thoughtfulness is so "you", and makes me appreciate you even more.
2. YOGA TO SUPPORT YOUR INTENTION - I AM GRATITUDE
Practicing yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate the higher vibration that you want to embody and carry with you, on and off the mat. I AM GRATITUDE, one of our Intention-Based Yoga Practices, will help you slow down, take notice, acknowledge your blessings and show your appreciation. This beautiful slow-flowing practice includes a meditation, a sequence of beautiful poses that become a gratitude prayer from your heart.
I’m so incredibly grateful for my friend Jennifer Reaburn, an inspiring and creative yoga and mindfulness teacher, who has offered up her heart and soul to create our series of Intention-Based Yoga Practices for you. It's so fun to collaborate with her.
3. GRATITUDE MEDITATION
This is one of the easiest meditations you can do, and it can take as little as one or two minutes. Sit peacefully with your eyes closed. Relax into the natural flow of your breath, and allow yourself to receive each inhalation as a gift, and offer each exhalation as a prayer of gratitude. Think about 5 things you have to be grateful for today, in this moment. Think of what surrounds you, think of the people in your life, think of what has happened today (or yesterday) remembering that even the small things and small gestures can bring us much joy. As mentioned above, get really descriptive and dig into why you are grateful for each of these things. And for each of your 5 things, say thank you - to yourself, to another, to the earth, to the universe - with a deep sense of gratitude. When you've finished, open your eyes with a new appreciation or all you have in your life.
4. WRITE A LETTER
Get old-school and write a gratitude letter to someone, for no other reason than to tell them how much and why you appreciate their presence in your life. A real letter. Surprise them by choosing a beautiful card and putting it in the mail, which will make the gesture even more special. I guarantee you will make them extremely happy and grateful to have you in their life.
5. JUST NOTICE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL
Staying in awareness is an excellent way to stay in gratitude. This is mindfulness. So take a moment, stop and notice something beautiful and thank the Universe for creating it for you to enjoy. Either do this spontaneously, or why not send yourself a daily reminder to stop for a moment to notice and appreciate. It won’t be long before you are noticing beauty in everything, and you’ll be continuously grateful to live such a precious life in this spectacular world.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to tell you that I really appreciate that you have taken the time to read this post all the way to the bottom, and that you continue to discover the offerings of HUM. It’s a strange thing to put your heart into creating a piece of content and then send it out into the world, always wondering who will read it and how it will impact others, hopefully helping your to find a higher vibration, find your own hum. I’m grateful for your feedback and comments.
What is your gratitude practice? Please share your ideas in the comments.
Comments will be approved before showing up.