Given that this is THE month of gratitude, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Gratitude is not always something that comes intuitively, but it's one of the keys to happiness.
How to get to a place of gratitude? Read on:
Practice Makes Perfect
Focusing on the positive, and being grateful for your blessings in fact brings MORE of those blessings back to you. It's so easy to focus on the negative, but unfortunately when we do this, that's exactly what we attract as well.
I've been getting into a gratitude practice these past few weeks, where I mindfully try to list three blessings each day. This keeps me in a positive frame of mind, and prevents my focus from skewing to the negative. I'm grateful for the big stuff, naturally, like my health, my family and my home. But here are some of the little things that I've been grateful for lately: cuddles with my sons, autumn light filtering through the trees, the smell of a wood burning fireplace in cool crisp air, my baby's laughter, and my husband's newly salted and peppered scruff (how lucky I am to be getting older with him).
Translate Gratitude to Action
Not only is listing out your blessings helpful, but taking action and giving back is also a surefire way to bring peace, abundance and happiness to your soul. Try to think about WHO you are grateful for and then do something special for them. It can be as simple as a card or small thoughtful gesture. Gratitude is powerful energy, and a gift. Just watch, it may make someone else's day....and yours too.
Think about the people every day that give something of themselves to you - from cashiers at the grocery store, to bank tellers, to the garbage man, to the barista at the coffee store. It's so easy to just mumble thanks, walk away mindlessly or just not say anything. Sometimes these interactions can be frustrating, especially if you don't get great customer service!
The truth of the matter, is that we all are consumed with our own thoughts, and some of us are dealing with unimaginable pain and struggle. There is often no way of knowing who is dealing with these things. No matter what, saying "thank you" to someone and giving them a heartfelt smile is a form of magic that you give to them. Seeing how good it makes YOU feel is a form of magic they will give right on back to you.
Be Grateful In Advance
What do you want for your life? What are you hopes, dreams and goals? Try being grateful for your dreams in advance, not just after they come true. If you express gratitude before the goal happens, you form an image of it in your mind and feel as though you already have it. Your goals are more likely to be achieved if you put that grateful energy out to the universe! There are countless stories about athletes and other super successful individuals, who held fast to their dreams and believed they were going to become true until they did. Being grateful for those dreams can help you get there too.
In sum, this is a time where we are reminded to be grateful for so much, but try to keep this practice up for the rest of the year. I, for one, plan to use this as a strategy for getting through the cold winter months in my part of the woods. Oh, and also for making ALL of my dreams come true!
If you are dwelling on your blessings, the world will always be a beautiful place.