There are so many articles telling us, “How to start a gratitude practice,” or “One should include a daily gratitude practice.” Have you ever wondered why? What are the benefits for us spending time this way when there’s so much stuff on our “to do” lists already? Maybe this is where being voted “Most Inquisitive” in school is a wonderful thing. We can be told all day long the “shoulds” but unless we know the “whys” we can’t make informed decisions about what we want or what is best for us. So, being the inquisitive one that I am, I went looking for the “whys” and found some awesome insight to share.
Four Benefits of adding Daily Gratitude Practice to your Spiritual Journey.
1. It Lifts Our Mood. Just like in Peter Pan, think a happy thought and you’re flying! It’s all in how we see things. If we’re feeling foul, someone cuts you off in traffic, or whatever ick has tweaked your vibe, be conscious of it, acknowledge it and let it go. Then, replace it with three things you are grateful for. Maybe the thought of your loving pet, a witty friend who always makes you laugh or maybe think of something pretty you enjoy. In a pinch, just say the word “Bubbles”. No one can say “bubbles” without smiling.
2. It Makes Us Mindful. One thing in this world today we are missing is mindfulness. Whether you call it critical thinking or mindfulness, people inevitably say, “It’s so hard!” Well, of course it is when you haven’t done it, maybe ever. The world moves so fast, it’s just easier to let it carry us and then blame it when things don’t go our way. However, if we flip it around and we are mindful of what we are grateful for, we start focusing on that. We start to see that these are things we’ve brought into our space or brought to fruition because we are mindful of them. Then the thought, “If I am mindful, I create awesomeness that I am grateful for. Wait a minute – I am awesome!!” How empowering is that?!
3. It Engages Law of Attraction. If there is one thing the Universe is, it’s consistent. This, in theory, makes it super easy for us to work with it. “Then how come things don’t always work out how we want,” you ask? Well, welcome to the ego my friend. It’s that voice in our heads casting doubt or fear. Yuck!! It’s part of being human but, if you get down with #2 on this list, this will fall into place. When I say the Universe is consistent, I mean whatever you focus on reflects back to you in droves. Example: if you are so wrapped up in the fact that you are miserable at your job, that’s what you are focused on. So the Universe hears, “I hate my job, “and says, “Job is stinky – need more of that! Here you go!” So no wonder when we are focused on what we don’t want we seem to get more of it. Let’s flip it around. I am sure we can all find something good in a bad situation. In this case, even if your positive thought is, “I get a paycheck on a steady basis.” Let’s put that on the gratitude list, “I am so grateful I have a wonderful income.” Then Universe hears, “Wonderful income – ok here’s more of it! Here you go!” And so it is…and let’s be honest, we would all rather be in a positive place and get more of that than the opposite. At least, I would hope so.
4. It Is Very Centering. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” As a GenXer, I find Ferris Bueller to be one of the great philosophers, albeit a fictional one, of our time. So maybe a more accurate account would be, John Hughes was the great philosopher of our time. Either way, this is a pretty true statement. We live in an even faster paced world than Ferris did back in the 1980s. Today we are constantly connected and people complain of monkey brain more than ever. So getting centered and calming the nervous system to both lower stress and to re-connect to higher self and inner wisdom is so important and more difficult now than ever. If one can find some quiet time to sit down and make a list of ten things we are grateful for, it makes you stop and think. It makes you be present. It makes you get off the crazy runaway monorail that is our lives right now and be still. We know all of this tech was supposed to make things easier for us and in some ways we are incredibly grateful for it. Like right now as I type this. I was never the best typist and am a huge fan of spell check and the delete button because I remember back in the day, when you had to use a typewriter with carbon paper. There was no delete button or no spell check. It was a crappy typist’s nightmare. I get a headache just thinking about it. But I digress…So in this crazy time, it is wonderful to take time out, slow down. Take time to be thankful. Calm self and find the inner peace in being grateful, even if it’s to say – thank you Universe for the spell check and delete buttons on my keyboard.
There you have it. Four fabulous benefits of a daily gratitude practice. Please take what you will and leave that which doesn’t resonate. Namaste.
~Michele Stans is co-coordinator of Nashville’s Ladies of Light, a metaphysical blogger, an Angel Tarot reader, a medium and is currently studying energy healing. You can follow her on her Facebook Page - A Spirit in Balance or on Twitter @HappyMediumTN.