10 ways to bring more gratitude into your life
We have just celebrated Thanksgiving. The holiday centered around the idea of appreciation and gratitude. If we are lucky, we were able to spend time with family and friends, got to eat some great food, and had time to rest and relax or enjoy ourselves for a few days. I say ‘if we are lucky’ because not everyone has family and friends to celebrate with, or is able to afford a good meal, or even has a place to prepare their food and eat it.
During this time of thanks it may help us all to realize that simply being able to participate in this holiday, to eat and gather with loved ones, are things to be thankful for. Many of us have so much in our lives that we may overlook when we are thinking of what to be grateful for. Unfortunately, we sometimes see giving thanks as something you do when you acquire something new, but let's not forget to show appreciation for all that we already have.
It is wonderful that we have a holiday devoted to gratitude and giving thanks, but wouldn’t it be even better to practice gratitude and appreciation all the time? Gratitude vibrates at the same frequency of love. The more you practice gratitude the higher you vibrate and the closer you get to vibrating with love. When we vibrate at that frequency it is easier to experience joy, happiness, compassion, and understanding. It is easier to be calm and positive.
When we are in a space of gratitude we find more and more in our lives to be grateful for. Our minds have an amazing way of searching out what we set as our intention, or the emotional state that we are in. So if we are in a state of gratitude and set our intention towards being grateful, then our mind will seek out and look for things that we appreciate.
In this way we direct our focus and in many ways our experience with life. This does not mean that negative things will never happen to you. What it means is that you will give the negative less focus and attention, because you will be looking for and anticipating positive things. You may even start to see a situation that you may have interpreted in a negative way in the past more positively because you intend to find the good, the positive in the experience.
Whether something is positive or negative, whether we are grateful for it or upset by it, has a lot to do with how we choose to interpret it. We can choose to be upset or irritated with the rain or the snow, complain about the cold and the wet. However, without winter and winter weather we would not have the beautiful growth and colors of the spring. We can choose to see the rain and the cold as a positive, giving the Earth much needed moisture and the opportunity to rest for the coming season of growth.
Another example to consider is when our bodies become sick or injured. We can choose to be upset by this, unhappy or resentful that we are not able to do the things we want to do, or we could look at it as an opportunity to relax, practice self-care, and take time for ourselves. Maybe our body is communicating to us that it needs this time to recuperate, that we have been working too hard. We can choose to appreciate our bodies' communication and see it as a positive.
The choice is always ours to seek gratitude and appreciation in any situation. It may help to begin a practice of gratitude on a regular basis. Perhaps Thanksgiving could be the start of a daily gratitude practice instead of just once a year. How can you bring more gratitude into your life and approach a state of gratitude?
Start a daily gratitude practice by thinking of three things each day that you are grateful for
Start a gratitude journal to write out positive things that happen each day or each week
Take time each day to sit in gratitude
Thank yourself for the little things you do for yourself
Thank others for the little things that they do
Share good things that happen in your day to day life with friends and family
Write thank you letters and thank you cards to others
Write yourself thank you notes
There are so many things that we can do to bring more gratitude into our lives, and you will find that the more you do the more you will want to do. Building gratitude is like a snowball picking up speed as it rolls downhill. It gets faster and bigger rapidly. This is because the more gratitude we practice the more we will start to notice and find to be grateful for and as we express gratitude for all these new things we will discover even more and so on and so on. In addition, we will feel better and better so we will want to keep at it. We don’t even really have to try to stop any habits of negativity because as we build a gratitude practice they will fade away and be replaced with the positive gratitude habits.