Gratitude, the simple art of practicing appreciation. Gratitude puts you into a powerful and loving place in which to view your world. It allows your heart to open and to experience the joy of living in true abundance.
But so many people are stuck in a mindset of disappointment and fear. They look around and see only the negative – the things around them that look tired or need replacing, the things they don’t have, that others do, and the things they have yet to acquire. They don’t see how they can show gratitude, when they’re lacking so much.
Gratitude isn’t about the material things
Those that are busy focusing on the things around them, are missing a big part of what gratitude is about – appreciation. It isn’t necessarily about the material things around you. Yes, they may bring you joy and may serve a useful purpose, but it’s the positive feelings that they bring, that’s the focus of your gratitude and appreciation.
You also need to believe you’re worth good things and experiences – that includes accepting compliments. Appreciate the positive words others are saying to you, and get used to complimenting yourself too!
Gratitude is about positive feelings
When you’re practicing the art of gratitude you experience positive feelings, such as joy, kindness, love, appreciation, generosity and acceptance. There is no room for negative emotions, such as fear, lack or scarcity, judgement and doubt.
What you focus on, expands
The Law of Attraction dictates that what you’re focusing on, expands and you get more of it. If you’re focusing on those negative feelings of lack and scarcity, you’ll get more of the same. If you want your life to be more joyful and abundant, showing appreciation for what is currently in your life, will attract more of those positive feelings into your life – giving you even more to be grateful for.
Gratitude helps you focus on the positive
As you focus on being more grateful, your outlook on life shifts. You become more optimistic, as you realise you’re in control of both how you feel about your life and the positive results you’re attracting.
It’s not just the positive things you need to be grateful for
Be grateful for the tougher things in your life too – the lessons you’ve learnt, the inner strength you may have found as a result, the people who come into your life and highlight what you do and don’t find acceptable. See the benefits in all of it and be grateful for them.
This isn’t about letting people walk over you or turning the other cheek – it’s about seeing the hidden gems, the qualities they’ve helped you uncover and maybe even highlighting the boundaries you’ve let slip or the negative patterns you’ve been following. The sooner you learn and appreciate these gifts – the sooner you can let them go and move forward.
Gratitude ensures you’re in the present moment
So many people go through life, pinning their happiness on a future goal or destination. Every moment of life is meant to be lived in a state of joy and wonder – and that means being in the present moment. Statements such as ‘I’ll be grateful/happy when...’ only serve to show you’re not living in the present, so change them to present tense ‘I’m happy now I….’.
Make gratitude an all day, everyday practice
Gratitude doesn’t have to be a difficult or in-depth practice. As soon as you wake up in the morning, be grateful for being alive. Lay in bed and think of all the things you’re grateful for. It could be the warmth of your bed or the sunlight streaming through your window. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, repeat your gratitude exercise again. As you think about your day, what were you grateful for? What can you be thankful for and appreciative of? Add in a couple of minutes of gratitude at lunchtime, and you’ve suddenly boosted your mood, your outlook and your life experiences!