5 ways to Cultivate Gratitude (and why it’s important)

Gratitude is a valuable addition to your feelings repertoire . It is an emotion of abundance, of blessings and of life itself. Studies show that a practice of gratitude increases our happiness both in the short term and long term.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of my favourite quotes on gratitude is by William Arthur Ward, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Making meaningful changes in your focus from other emotions such as anger fear, or just plain tired and disaffected to the feeling of gratitude can create a shift in how you perceive life and assists in changing beliefs about the self and the world around you. In short, daily gratitude creates happiness.

Here are my 5 best ways to cultivate gratitude.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Establishing a daily practice where you remind yourself of the gifts, beauty and absolute grace of life is probably one of the best ways to bring gratitude into your life in a meaningful way. Woven into the everyday, gratitude is a powerful way to boost your happiness. So, as you set aside time each day to focus on gratitude in your everyday existence you to create a LIFE full of gratitude and joy.

Find your Senses

Taking a moment to feel into where you are, is a fantastic way to cultivate gratitude. Right here and now stop for a second and listen to the furthest sound away…then the closest. Then hear it all at once. What can you smell? What can you taste? Take in the colours around you see every detail. Finally take a moment to feel into your body, what are the sensations on your skin? Send your attention to an area of your body, hand or feet or face and feel into it.

What does this teach us? When we focus on our senses we discover the miracle of life. That our body is not only a miracle but so is everything around us. Gratitude naturally follows.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Make a vow to practice gratitude                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Research has shown making a vow to practice something like gratitude increases the likelihood that you will follow through with action. So, write your vow of gratitude on the mirror or on a sticky note and stick it somewhere you will see it every day. Simply reminding yourself of the desire for gratitude helps you to cultivate it.

Go through the motions

I know you have heard the saying ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ and with gratitude nothing could be truer. The more you focus on it the more you feel it. Say thank you enough and, pretty soon, you mean it. But you don’t just have to say thank you, other gestures of gratitude include smiling, writing notes of appreciation or letters of gratitude. Neuroscience is backing up the process of going through the motions in study after study. Just check out the work of Robert Emmons or Dr Joe Dispenza, two fabulous proponents for the amazing powers of gratitude.

Re-frame the negative to positive

When you listen to a grateful person, you might notice they use a very different set of words. Grateful people include words like blessing, gift, thanks, giver, fortunate and abundant. These words are inherently positive. As you re-frame your focus to a more positive one you will notice the ‘attitude of gratitude’ developing.

So there you have it! I include a gratitude component in most of my work with clients because it is a fantastic way of seeing what you have in a positive way. From there you can build and manifest, creating through gratitude and your other resources the kind of experience you want in life. From personal experience and from witnessing it in clients, time and time again, the more you focus on gratitude the more your very energy lightens. Life becomes a celebration, a dance of blessings and miracles.

Thank you for reading. Have an abundantly grateful day!

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