Gratitude Series: #1- What is gratitude?
Gratitude has been a buzzword for some time now. It became noticeable for me after watching “The Secret” Documentary in 2010. Since then, I have tried to make gratitude my go-to mindset, especially on stressful days. In this series, we will explore gratitude, its effects on the brain, and why you should create a gratitude practice. Welcome to our Gratitude series.
What is gratitude?
Merriam-Webster defines gratitude as the state of being grateful. I’m sure that doesn’t help you understand it any better. To dig a little deeper, being grateful is defined as being appreciative of benefits received or affording pleasure or contentment. When I think about feeling gratitude, I agree with those definitions. To me, gratitude is acknowledging and feeling appreciation. It can be for people, lessons, experiences, material items, etc. There is a reason to be grateful in every situation, even if it only shows you what you don’t want to be or what you don’t want to do again.
Ways gratitude is expressed
Gratitude can be expressed in several ways. In whatever ways you communicate, you can express gratitude. You can start by saying a very simple “Thank you” when someone does something nice for you or you can say thank you to whichever higher power you believe in. In the United States, many people use Thanksgiving as the time of year when they choose to express their gratitude. Though I don’t agree that this is the only time to express gratitude, it’s better than nothing. Others take it a few steps further and use phrases like “I am so grateful for_____ because__________. “ This is a great way to show gratitude to your loved ones, acquaintances, and co-workers. This statement says that are you are grateful and why. This is amazing feedback because the other person learns that their actions are appreciated, which we all love knowing, but it also helps them understand the impact of their actions. If you are not comfortable saying this to the person, you can always write down and send them a note. If you are not great with words, you may prefer to express gratitude with actions that the other person appreciates. Or even by being affectionate. This affection can be a hug, a forehead kiss (I love these), or even taking time out for cuddling on the couch.
What has gratitude done for me?
Before incorporating gratitude into my life, I was constantly angry, never trusting people’s intentions, and never trusting the process. After incorporating a regular gratitude practice I am now able to shift my mindset to find the lessons in stressful situations and stop focusing on the things that aren’t going my way. With this change in perspective, I try to look for the ways that the universe is providing for my goals. One thing I have learned is to let go of the how and to just focus on the what. The universe provides signs, it is up to you to see them as they are. To be grateful that events are aligning to give you what you want. The key to this is truly believing that you are worthy of receiving what you are asking for AND letting the universe provide without expectations as to how.
So what can gratitude do for you? To find out, get started on your new mindset journey, click here to join the FREE Coffee.Yoga.Life. 30-day Gratitude Challenge.