8 Super Useful Ways to Invite More Gratitude Into Your Life
It is now widely accepted that we can totally transform the way our mind works…
Not only are we able to educate ourselves on certain subjects, but we are able to heighten our level of awareness and reinvent the types of thoughts we create.
If we understand that at any moment our mind may produce positive, neutral, or negative thoughts, we can all agree that the first two types of thoughts are preferable.
Negative thoughts have a place as they may teach us about areas in our life we need to pay attention to. Neutral thoughts are the bridge between positive and negative thoughts, and they are what help us to progress in life.
Positive thoughts are generally focused around the present moment. They are about acknowledging the good in life. They leave us feeling happy and free.
As such, we want to continue evolving in a way that allows us to produce more positive thoughts. We all know people who seem more positive than others and it gives us an uplifting feeling just being in their presence.
But how did they become this way? And is it possible for us to become more positive too?
The answer to these two questions hides in the power of gratitude. Choosing to begin actively practicing gratitude will transform your life in the most powerful way imaginable.
Here are eight simple ways for you to become a more grateful person.
8 Ways to Live With an Abundance of Gratitude
Start small. If you’ve not tried much meditation before, starting to practice on your own can be challenging.
Begin by spending 5-10 minutes a day in a quiet place on your own. The main thing to know is that during meditation you’re not looking to achieve anything other than sitting as still as possible with an upright spine, with the intention of observing your thoughts. Paying attention to your breath will help to relax the chatter of your mind.
There’s no need to expect to quieten your mind at the beginning of your meditation practice. Simply try to notice the quality and content of your thoughts. For all humans the main desire in life is to be happy and free. As such we are trying to become aware of the thoughts preventing us from feeling this way.
Good health is essential to feeling grateful. It is not as easy to feel grateful for life when your body is in poor physical condition. By learning yoga you will move blocked energy through your body and start to feel more light and free.
By learning to hold yourself in challenging postures while focusing on your breath, you’ll train your mind to understand that even in uncomfortable positions it’s possible to remain calm, so there’s really nothing to complain about. Instead, you can choose to feel grateful for the ability to use your body, to allow you to experience all of the different feelings associated with practicing yoga.
When you wake up, before you’ve started talking to anyone, take a piece of paper and a pen then sit down to write. There is a subtle power in doing this exercise by hand rather than on a phone or computer.
To begin simply write “I am grateful for…” and then finish the sentence however you like.
Continue writing sentences this way until you can’t think of any more. This exercise can include a combination of heartfelt and lighthearted sentences. The more heartfelt sentences will help you to feel truly grateful while the lighthearted ones may make you smile and laugh.
Some examples could be, “I am grateful for the way my parents love me unconditionally;” “I am grateful for the delicious avocado I eat for breakfast each morning”, and “I am grateful for the way my boyfriend constantly nags me to wake up, as I’d be late for work without him.”
You can even write sentences about things you don’t like to help you to become more accepting. For example, “I am grateful for the smelly people on the bus, because they remind me to appreciate the days I ride my bicycle to school.”
Be grateful for as many things which are part of your present reality as you possibly can. Some days there will be more to write and other days there will be less. Aim for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 sentences. Do this practice 3-7 times each week.
Mantra means “mind protection” and it helps us to protect ourselves from our own negative thoughts. Our negative thoughts may be centered around fear or attachment.
If we become aware of a particular recurring negative thought that is bringing us to feel unhappy, we can chant a mantra to ourselves whenever we notice this thought. We can use a mantra all the time and write it down on a piece of paper to carry with us to read or say aloud when times are tough.
You can also use an affirmation. A short, focused sentence centered on embracing the present, and not too heavily focused on the past or the future is ideal.
For example, if you notice you are worrying about a meeting you’ll have with your boss in one week, as you feel there’s a chance you’ll lose your job, you want to feel better right now. An affirmation like, “In one week I will know what’s happening and feel good again” is not helpful as you’ll still be worrying about the future. Alternatively you would create an affirmation like, “Life will unfold just as it needs to and I will always be taken care of.”
See how this second affirmation helps you to feel better immediately? It gives you peace of mind. Reciting mantras or saying affirmations are helpful steps on the path to becoming a more grateful version of you.
Offer Verbal Gratitude
Not everyone is interested in conscious and positive living like you, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate you sharing gratitude with them.
Set yourself the task of thanking each person you come into contact with for something they have done either in this moment or previously. You can do this one or two days each week.
Remember we must understand others are not as positive as we are just yet, so they may not be as willing to focus on the pluses in life.
There are many things you can thank people for, both small and large. You could say to your teacher, “Thanks for all of the knowledge and inspiration you give me each lesson.” You could say to your friend, “Thank you for sharing such a stimulating conversation with me today.” You could say to the cashier, “I’m very thankful for your friendly service and kind smile.”
When you speak, try to speak from the heart and share your true feelings. Offering verbal gratitude feels good because you’re helping another person to feel good about themselves too. They may not even be aware of what they had done for you, so your compliment could completely uplift their day.
Spend Time With Positive People
If you spend time with people who are particularly negative and like to complain a lot about their problems or the things they don’t have, it’s likely you will end up doing the same thing. This is just the way conversation and energy-exchange takes place.
Becoming a more grateful and positive version of yourself may mean spending less time with certain people.
When you notice people who leave you feeling negative or lower on energy after you’ve spent time together, make a mental note of this. When you notice people who leave you feeling more positive and higher energetically after you’ve spent time together, make a mental note of this too.
It may be hard leaving people behind in life or choosing to spend less time with them, but it’s a necessary step in the right direction. If there are people who are particularly negative who you don’t want to remove from your life, perhaps you could encourage them to be more positive too or at least make them aware of what they’re doing.
It’s hard to feel grateful for the beautiful life you’ve been given if you’re spending too much time with people who choose to focus on what they imagine is missing.
Spend More Time in Peaceful Places
If you notice that being in a particular place leaves you feeling negative, try to become aware of why.
For example, there may be a subtle feeling of guilt left with you after eating sushi. Perhaps deep down you feel that animals don’t deserve to suffer and you feel guilty about eating them. On the other hand, when you eat vegetarian food you feel lighter and as though you’re not causing harm to any other living being, so you feel good about what you’re eating.
Every action you take leaves an energetic footprint within you however small or large. Paying attention to the environments you spend time in and how they make you feel will allow you to feel more grateful for your life.
As you start to choose the environments you find yourself in more wisely you’ll feel more grateful to be where you are.
Cultivate Mindful Awareness
Expanding your awareness is the key to becoming your greatest version. Both when you’re doing these activities and when you’re simply living your life, it is your mission to pay more attention. Notice your thoughts, notice your words, notice what others say and do, notice how you feel, notice anything and everything that you can and try to understand why things are as they are.
As you become more aware make sure you’re not passing judgement but simply noticing what’s happening around and within you.
In the spiritual world we know of all activity as karma and accept that nothing is completely random. Everything that comes into existence, from the most seemingly insignificant thought, to the largest skyscraper built by man, is the result of the principle of cause and effect. As we pay more attention, we understand more deeply why the world is as it is.
Practicing gratitude is at the heart of becoming a happier and more positive version of you. Truly, what you are doing by practicing gratitude is purifying your inner world.
Rather than feeling something is missing you’re choosing to focus on what is present here and now. You are choosing to feel complete and content. You’re acknowledging that life is perfect just as it is.
The depth of your gratitude is the extent to which you are able to emit positive vibrations outwardly and improve the quality of your own life and the lives of all the people you encounter. The power of gratitude is within you.