Do you want to transform E V E R Y T H I N G with a simple practice? Of course you do! Meet Gratitude. Hello, hello.
What it IS: Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is exactly like donning fixed rose-colored glasses — for your mind and heart. This kind of lightning bolt perspective shift tingles from top to toe, singeing negativity and replacing it with a warm glow. And the magic is, those grateful goggles stay on and color whatever comes your way, so long as you PRACTICE.
What it ISN’T: Faking yourself out, false positivity, fleeting half-hearted attempts at change. You must commit. There are 1,000,001 things to be grateful for and they’re right in front of your nose. The goal is to become aware that they exist!
Conceptually, this is as catchy as an earworm — attitude of gratitude. The melodic phrase was born with Yogi Bhajan and it is certainly some of the highest yoga. Say it aloud to yourself, let the words work their way into your brain, blood, cells, spirit, soul.
(image source: the berkeley blog)
5 EPIC WAYS TO CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE:
Gratitude can be real, living and breathing, if you make it so. This practice is incredibly simple — it can be done without any exertion or prerequisites. And for something so easy-as-pie, maintaining an attitude of gratitude sure as sugar brings a massive dollop of deeper contentment.
1. When you’re lying in bed, waking up for the day, think of one thing you are grateful for. Say it out loud. “I am grateful for … !”
2. Start (and maintain) a gratitude journal. Every day, write down 3 things you are grateful for. Small, huge, funny, deep, whatever comes to mind. Doesn’t have to be the fanciest journal ever, it can be fresh sheets of paper. Write. Them. Down. (By hand!)
3. Say “Thank You” on the regular … and mean it. You’ll find that you become more aware of gifts that come along — an opened door, a hug from someone you love, the produce man who runs to the back, finding a secret stash of perfect avocados just for you.
4. Feel gratitude in your body. Put your hands on your heart and visualize a golden glow of gratefulness filling up your body.
5. Bow into Child’s Pose just before bed. This comforting, reverent act lets you swim in all your blessings.
Want scientific proof that this works? A leading expert on the science of gratitude and professor of Psychology at UC Davis, Dr. Robert Emmons, notes:
“We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated
We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.”
Pick one and begin. Which one calls to you? What can you commit to doing TODAY?
I have started a regular practice of #1-3 so far. :) And I want to thank you for reading, commenting, + sharing. Grateful for all of you spirit sages!