Warning: These practices are addicting and contagious.
You hear it all the time: ‘gratitude it the best attitude’ and, ‘the more grateful you are the more you have to feel grateful for.’ But how does it actually work? How do you actually become more grateful when you are feeling down?
The benefit of gratitude is unmistakable. Grateful people often experience reduced blood pressure, less chronic pain, increased energy and longer lives. You get more of what you focus on and so when you intentionally focus on things to feel grateful for, you begin to train your mind to look for that aspect in the world around you. Building an attitude of gratitude is much like working out a muscle at the gym. The more repetitions you do the strong you get and the often you return to the practice the easier and more natural it becomes.
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Here are 3 powerful and effective ways to get into the emotion of gratitude right now:
Morning Body Scan
As soon as you wake up in the morning before getting out of bed take 2 deep breaths with your eyes closed. Filling with fresh oxygen feel gratitude for the health of your lungs, which allow you to breath. Become aware of your autonomic nervous system which regulates all the bodily functions that you don’t have to consciously control such as your heart pumping blood around your body. Beginning from the top of the head scan your brain, eyes, nose, ears and work your way down, stopping at each one for a moment to feel gratitude for the health and vitality of all the moving parts that have carried you so far.
If you come across a place that needs more love and attention, pause and send healing energy to it by seeing it as functioning optimally and getting into the feeling of gratitude by knowing that your body is able to heal itself naturally just as if you had a scrape on your knee.
Bringing awareness to your body while in a relaxed state first thing in the morning offers powerful healing both mentally and physically as you practice choosing to be in a state of gratitude, strengthening the direction of your attention and beginning your day activating your parasympathetic nervous system in which your body functions best.
Rampage of Appreciation
Before I do any writing or journalling I like to do a ‘brain dump’, inspired by Julia Cameron's Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, except that I can do them any time of day as a primer to get out of my head and into my heart. Without giving any thought to content I begin writing pen to paper as fast as possible letting the words flow across my notebook without any direction. I never read what I write as if I could decipher the chicken scratch anyways. After filling 2 or 3 pages I toss the pages and with a clear mind and an open heart I begin to write for a specific project.
Similar to the brain dump, and much more heart opening is a written Rampage of Appreciation. I start by looking around my environment and writing something that I am grateful for and why and let my mind wander at the little, often overlooked, treasures of life: the comfy couch I sitting on and my furry purple slippers that keep me warm. It’s important to get into the why, so follow your statement with because… it makes me feel safe and comfortable and I’ve created a life full of luxurious comforts.
Sometimes I’ll do this outside so that I have new inspiration, feeling grateful for the green grass between my toes and the trees that clear our air. You get the idea. When you allow your mind to wander and be taken on a journey without trying to direct it to a specific result you find new ways of looking at things and different things to be grateful for.
Also try filming yourself doing your rampage of appreciation!
Write a Gratitude Note
Feeling grateful is one of the most enjoyable emotions one can experience and it’s even juicier when we share it with others. One of the most influential things we can do for another is send praise, encouragement and acknowledgement. In a world full of pushing forward, reaching and achieving, we often forget to look at how far we’ve travelled to get where we are.
Take a moment every day to send one little note of gratitude to someone that has impacted your life, no matter how big or small. There’s a specific format you can use that is very powerful: Event, Emotion, Impact.
Remember time you helped me move out of my apartment in a pinch last year? (situation) It made me feel supported and eased my stress (emotion) and showed me that I am always taken care of and recently reminded me to trust and ask for help. (impact) I’m grateful for your friendship and support. Thank you.
When I first started sending gratitude notes I felt a little silly bringing up things from several years ago and my mind tried to give me reasons that it was ‘lame’ to search for something so far in the past. I thought people would just laugh it off and not think much of it. Boy was I wrong. The impact it had not only on me but those on the receiving end was causing serious changes in emotional trajectory. Feeling noticed, seen and appreciated the receiver takes that energy into the rest of their day and passes it forward. Acknowledging with little wins that we share strengthens relationships and overall states of well-being.
Do not underestimate this practice. It’s powerful and will cause both the giver and receiver of such notes to experience extreme bouts of joy, appreciation and gratitude.
Join us for GRATITUDE: 22 DAY TRANSFORMATION
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Open you heart to give and receive more love, support, resources and gratitude!!