The Practice of Gratitude

My question for you today is,

Are you open to learning a simple method to improve your health, your relationships and your well-being?

Then you’re in luck because today we’ll be talking just how to do that using The Practice of Gratitude.

The practice of gratitude is the act of intentionally appreciating the positive aspects of life. That doesn’t mean that we want to walk around pretending everything is wonderful in life. It also doesn’t mean that we pretend problems and struggles don’t exist.

It’s simply about developing a mindset for the specific purpose of improving overall well-being.

When I was younger I used to listen to the talks from Zig Ziglar. I loved one saying that he had about developing a positive attitude. When someone would ask him, “Will a positive attitude guarantee your success in life?” He would reply, “No, but I can guarantee you that it will take you a lot farther than a negative one.”

Gratitude really is a simple and powerful practice that can bring many benefits to your daily life.

The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

There are so many benefits to practicing gratitude regularly. Here are some of the most significant benefits that research has shown:

Improved mental health: Gratitude has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. It can help you focus on positive things in your life and shift your mindset away from negative thoughts.

Increased happiness: Grateful people tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives. By focusing on what you have instead of what you lack, you really can experience more joy and contentment in your life.

Better relationships: Expressing gratitude can improve your relationships with others. It can help you build stronger connections with friends, family, and coworkers.

Improved physical health: This is a big one and it’s really remarkable. There are studies that show gratitude has been linked to better physical health outcomes, such as improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and even lower blood pressure.

How to Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a simple and straightforward process. We’re going to talk about some of the general ways to get started but I also want to go in depth on an aspect of practicing gratitude that I don’t see discussed too often.

  1. Keep a journal: Take a few minutes each day to write down just a few things that you’re grateful for. This can be anything from a good cup of coffee to a good supportive friend or family member.
  2. Express gratitude to the people in your life: Take the time to thank people who have made even a small positive impact on your life. This can be done through a simple verbal thanks, an email, or even a text message.
  3. My final tip for practicing gratitude is to engage in your life. This is similar to the act of being present or being mindful. I’ve found that it’s a very simple and yet powerful way to make your practice stand out.

Tips for Feeling Gratitude

Let me give an example here of what I mean by engaging.

I have a friend that has an old pickup truck. He pours far more care and money into the upkeep and maintenance of this truck than it’s worth. But he won’t part with it for double what it can be sold for. He loves that truck.

When I ask him what’s so special about the truck he begins to tell me all of the stories and adventures that he’s had with it. The truck has more meaning to him than just a vehicle because of his interactions or engagements with it.

When we engage with anything in life it allows us to have a sense of freedom or emotional energy flow. When it’s something that we enjoy or hold dear to us, that then creates the feelings of gratitude.

This is especially true when it comes to receiving gifts of any kind. I sometimes see people receive a gift but then never use it.

Let me give an example here. I have a nephew that lives in a different area from myself. For holidays and birthdays he will take the time to research restaurants and activities in my area, and then purchase a gift certificate which he then sends by email. I LOVE these gifts from him because of the thoughtfulness that he puts into them.

Now, if I never use the gift certificate I would still appreciate the act of his sending the gift. However, when I use the certificate I’m always mindful of the entire experience from getting ready to go, to being there and then engaging with the meal or activity. This in turn allows me to feel the feelings of gratitude at a much deeper level than in simply saying thank you.

So the easy way to practice gratitude and to have a life that you enjoy is to simply engage in your life. Even when things are not working the way that you would like, by engaging in your life you will find moments to hold dear and to cherish.

Releasing Blocks to Gratitude

I also know that many people want to practice gratitude but find it to be a very difficult thing to do.

They know that they have a comfortable life, and they’re able to verbally give thanks for all that they have, but it’s still difficult or even impossible for them to feel the feelings of gratitude.

Here is where we need to practice compassion and empathy for the inner child. In these special cases where we find that it’s difficult to feel gratitude is when we need to search for where is the block to being able to feel the feelings.

Many of us that grew up in difficult circumstances are actually afraid to feel gratitude. After all, if all that you have can be taken away, as it was growing up, this can turn into a block in later years.

Reaching Out for Help

The secret to removing these blocks is found in releasing the emotional attachments related to past events. This is not an easy process but it is worth it!

I’m not trying to suggest that letting go of blocks is simple or easy. That’s especially true for deep-rooted fears that you may have held onto for much of your life. But I am suggesting that it is possible. And the benefits of releasing these blocks can be liberating in a wide variety of ways in your life, especially in having the ability to appreciate and experience the existing joy in your life.

But sometimes we all need a little extra help. Another person can often see in you what you’ve been hesitant to see in yourself. Sometimes just one insight can be enough to help to move you forward towards the life that you desire.

So now let me ask you.

Are you ready to begin practicing gratitude in your life?

Are you ready to move beyond any blocks that you may have towards practicing gratitude, in order to have a life that you desire?

I believe that there are times when having another person help to guide you can really be a transformative experience. This is the reason that I encourage everyone to reach out for help when it comes to resolving issues that are difficult or seemingly impossible to work through on your own.

And if you’d like to work one-on-one with me I’m here to help. You can reach out to me through my Contact page and set up a time for us to work together.

Or sign up for my newsletter so you’ll know when new podcasts are released.

I hope this has been helpful and insightful.

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