Updated: Oct 6
Having a daily habit of consciously being grateful will profoundly transform your life. Gratitude is one of the highest emotional vibrations you can have. It enhances feelings of wellbeing, increases happiness, supports physical health, and manifests abundance on all levels. When you focus on the good things you already have in your life, it brings in more things to be grateful for.
Letting go of your focus on problems and coming from a place of thankfulness, the positive in your life becomes magnified, generating a powerful sense of joy, peace and enthusiasm for life, no matter your outward circumstances. The practice of gratitude will literally re-engineer your life from top to bottom.
Here’s a quick lesson in how to practice gratitude: Recall ten things that you are grateful for right now and say them out loud. Add another five things. Now go to your feelings. Do you feel that instant lift in your emotional state? That lift took you just a few seconds. Imagine how you would feel if you kept up the practice of gratitude throughout the whole day.
What is gratitude and is it easy to cultivate?
To have gratitude means to be thankful for what is in your life right now. It’s a process of noticing the simple things in life, such as the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle play of a breeze through your hair, each breath that you take, or the sound of birdsong and the splash of rain drops on the window or pavement. It’s a process of counting your blessings, big and small. When you can do this on a regular basis, your life transforms, and you magnetise more of the same.
The power of gratitude comes from a core deep feeling of sincerity. When you can whisper a prayer in the morning or sit to meditate with an open heart and feel from the depths of your being, a powerful surge of thankfulness for all that is good in your life, positive and empowering changes begin to take place immediately. The experience of deep love and joy will filter into your consciousness and permeate every aspect of your day.
We all know, however, that life can sometimes be difficult and it’s hard to feel gratitude at such times. It’s easy to immerse ourselves in those problems and feel depressed or that life is hopeless as we struggle to find a way out of our difficulties. Human beings are biologically conditioned to prioritise and focus on disasters and obstacles. The mind starts to explore all the ways in which things could get worse in the future as it attempts to formulate plans and strategies to survive.
Neuroscientists call this the negativity bias. When disaster happens, the most primitive parts of the brain are triggered. The amygdala at the centre of our brains is responsible for survival, and it floods our system with adrenalin at the slightest hint of a threat. If one of our distant ancestors whilst roaming the vast plains of Africa had spotted a tree laden with fruit but had not prioritised the sabretooth lurking in the grass, he would very quickly have become a meal for the predator. The negativity bias ensures that we look for possible disaster first and formulate plans and strategies to deal with it.
Evolution has ensured that as a species we are profoundly flawed when it comes to physically dealing with threats. We can’t outrun most predators; we don’t have claws or sharp teeth and are physically weak in comparison to those that would hunt us. What we have is our amygdala and our fight or flight mechanism. Unfortunately, the amygdala can’t tell the difference between a sabretooth and the redundancy notice your boss just gave you.
It can require a lot of persistent effort to build a gratitude practice when our instincts are driving us in the direction of planning for catastrophe. What we are not trying to do is turn off the negativity bias, however. This mechanism has served us well for millennia, but none of us are facing sabretooth tigers anymore.
Deepening the practice
When we consider the problems that we encounter in our lives and the many obstacles that block our path, instead of letting ourselves become disheartened, sad, or frustrated, we can use them as fuel for our practice. We can change our perception. Whatever experience we have had or whatever we are doing in the moment, we can ask ourselves, “What positive thing can I learn from this? What can be good about this?”
If we can see these experiences as opportunities from which to grow, they cease to be negatives, and become incredibly positive. Creating positive energy like this gets us into the flow and builds momentum. Simply through a change of perspective, even the worst of situations can be transformed into the catalyst for something powerfully life-enhancing. Failure is always success when it’s seen as a part of the process of learning. You can create the abundance you deserve by radiating sincere and powerful waves of gratitude for every experience in your life.
We can widen our perspective further. If we contemplate a simple glass of water, we can perhaps acknowledge that without the river or the well from which the water came, the glass of water would be impossible. Implied within the glass of water, therefore, is its origin in the river or well. The water in the river or well, however, must have originally fallen as rain somewhere. So also, within the glass of water is the rain. Rain must of course, fall from clouds which exist in the sky. So clearly, implied within the glass of water are the clouds and the sky. The sky requires the earth itself to sustain it. The earth is also within the glass of water. Without the whole of the earth, the glass of water could not exist. But the earth requires the universe to support it. So implicit within the glass of water is the universe and the whole of creation.
Everything in existence contains within it, the memory tape of its origin. Everything in existence contains within it the entirety of the universe. To show less than gratitude for any part of creation is to show less than gratitude for everything in existence, because everything owes its origin to everything else.
Getting into the flow of the universe
Developing the habit of feeling grateful for everything in your life will create a shift in your perception, impacting your career, relationships, health, social life, and personality. As you notice and appreciate all the good that already exists everywhere, you will come to expect more of the same to manifest. Your blessings become bigger than your problems. Stress, anxiety, and fear lessen and disappear. When this happens, you will tend to naturally flow with life’s circumstances. Everything becomes possible.
Building a gratitude habit: creating your miracle magnet
Making the effort to build a daily gratitude habit is something we should all do. It’s one of the most important habits of highly successful people: empowering every gut feeling, every decision and every action. A successful life is built on a foundation of gratitude. And gratitude really is a miracle magnet.
Write down everything you are grateful for
Search the internet or check out Amazon and you will find dozens of ‘Gratitude Journals’ for sale. Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a popular practice. You can fill it in first thing in the morning as a way of acknowledging all the things that you appreciate in your life, such as your health, your family or friends or any successes you may have had. As you continue with the practice of writing entries in your Journal you will be motivated to add more things to be grateful for. You will become naturally more positive, raising your vibration, and pulling higher vibration people into your life.
A caution though: Research suggests that an occasional habit of Gratitude Journaling is much more beneficial than making it a daily habit. When we do it every day it can quickly become a chore and the mind will include it in its bank of things to do on autopilot, like driving a car or boiling a kettle. It’s important to be conscious and in feeling mode when we journal, not thinking of other things as we hastily scribble lists of good things in our lives.
When negative thoughts arise, or you start to doubt yourself, re-reading entries in your Gratitude Journal is a good way to remind yourself of just how much you are blessed with abundance.
Get into the FEELING of gratitude
Feeling gratitude for something is the most powerful force in the universe. If we can be grateful for something before it even manifests in our lives, we are already vibrating at a high frequency. Like attracts like. The universe is motivated by feelings and emotions, not thoughts. Thoughts must give way to emotional states. Once you think of something to be grateful for, let it sink in and feel it resonate inside you. Gratitude is something you should feel in your heart.
Print gratitude on the ground with every step
When you wake each morning, you could take a moment to consider the many things in your life that you are grateful for. As you get out of bed let gratitude arise with every step you make. There are miracles everywhere. Did you ever sit and watch a leaf gently blowing in the breeze? Did you notice the beauty of the whole of creation in that one leaf, its origin story resonating in the flow of the universe?
Simple acts of kindness can change the mood and the day of another person. Offering them your seat on the bus, or helping an elderly person carry their shopping. Acknowledging and appreciating everyone in your life increases your abundance. Offer thanks when someone washes the dishes or irons your clothes. Say ‘I love you’ more often. Say ‘thank you’ when someone holds the door open for you. There are many opportunities every day to consciously practice gratitude and offer love and appreciation. When we can do this, others simply benefit by our presence in the world. Our heightened vibration impacts powerfully on those around us, bringing them into our orbit, benefitting them just as their presence benefits us.
Practicing gratitude is a game-changer. It’s like medicine for the soul. Gratitude is an expression of love and love is what the universe is made of.