Gratitude is both a benefit of Mindful Meditation, AND you can deepen and accelerate the impact of Gratitude in your life in less than a week, just by adding a formal practice of gratitude to your day.
I practice gratitude in the evening, and I will admit some days that looks a lot like, “Thank God, this day is over!”
What is curious is that even when I start that way, that leads to a bit of self-deprecating laughter and reminds me to actually open up the practice to what I truly am grateful for.
When I was little we were required to pray. This resulted in a lot of monotone and repetitive “thank-you’s” for very generic people and things. The thanks didn’t even go skin deep, let alone being heartfelt.
Today my gratitude practice literally fills me with happiness, joy and awe. Every frickin’ day. Joy.
It also fills me with perspective. The person that I am so miffed with is actually someone I deeply love who also loves me – and isn’t that a blessing. “If we didn’t love each other so genuinely, this would not even hurt.”
Our brains are wired to look for something wrong. That is what keeps us safe. Gratitude lets us notice and appreciate what is right (even though it is unnecessary to basic survival). This allows us to enjoy and see our relationships in a more balanced way – on purpose.
Re-focusing on what is good requires some training.
Some of my gratitude is focused on those things that I usually take for granted. Have you ever noticed, when you have a head cold, you miss the delight of breathing through your nose?! Exactly. It is such a gift.
You know how when you come in from a cold day, the warm feels so luxurious… for about 30 seconds. Then it becomes background. It may even start to feel a little chilly. So many things in life are that way. That raise you got, the new clothes, an improvement in your business, your car or computer. They start out as marvellous improvements that overtime are taken for granted and often eventually become something to complain about.
“My computer is so slow.” “My car needs an oil change again.” “Oh, that old thing.”
What else do you love that has become commonplace? You can actually recapture that appreciation and those feelings of satisfaction, happiness and joy – just by making that a priority and sharing that decision with your unconscious mind through a daily practice of gratitude.
Next thing you know, you will find those warm and happy moments popping up all day long.
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