I see some people roll their eyes at gratitude. It may even make them want to throw up a little in their mouths.
That's because, as per usual, we want instant gratification with little effort or thoughtfulness.
Gratitude doesn't work that way. These 3 ways below will help you supercharge your practice and help you shift how you see the world, making way for a happier, more positive perspective.
There's no heart in being general. It lacks depth. There's no connection or feeling behind it.
For gratitude to work and sink into your heart and soul, it needs specificity and depth.
You may have tried writing things down in a journal - keeping your daily "Oprah Gratitude List" - hoping that if you just write down 5 quick things in the morning before you scoot out the door, your life will magically change for the better.
Not exactly. Like any practice to work and be meaningful - we need effort.
My suggestion is to explain to yourself in detail - why you are grateful for you partner, or mother, or dog? What is it about them and what they do specifically that you're truly grateful for?
For example - I am forever thankful for my mother's ability to remind me that life doesn't have to be taken so seriously. When I feel like the world is caving in on me, my mother consistently reminds me of the all the wonderful things there are to smile and laugh about.
Get into nitty-gritty. Take your time and connect to those memories and experiences that light up your heart with love and appreciation. Then you'll be like, "ah, that's why I'm grateful."
Now gratitude packs a punch. It becomes more real inside you. You feel it. Your cells start to tingle. You feel good. Breezing over the details doesn't even get you close to that feeling.
BE THANKFUL FOR THE BAD TIMES.
Yup. Life can be hard and does certainly suck in moments that rock your world. Your world is thrown into chaos and change, and you think "why is this happening to me?"
Well, for very good reason. It may not reveal itself in the moment. But all change is designed to help you grow. In that way, life is happening for you, even when it feels unfair.
As sticky-icky as it feels, you're being called to rise. To shift your perspective. To be GRATEFUL for the lessons and opportunity to evolve and learn something new about yourself and the world around you. It could even be the act of forgiveness in a situation that makes you mad. Point is, tough times are challenging - but the more you can lean into the discomfort, the more you'll exercise your will and develop self-awareness and richer perspective.
Gratitude in the shitty times brings you wisdom and strength.
When I look back on my life and reflect on the tough times....thank God they happened. Why? Because they've fueled me to where I am now. Exactly where I'm meant to be. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes and don't play loop de loop, lol.
Every path is perfect, even when it doesn't feel like it. Life is change for very good reason - that's how it grows. Remind yourself of that and be grateful for how life is.
PRACTICE A STATE OF GRATITUDE
Say "thank you" all day. Doesn't have to be out loud so your co-workers think you have thank you Tourette's Syndrome (although that wouldn't be a bad version of).
Take it internally. Say it for all the little things (and remember that specific detail with it!). Breakfast, lunch, dinner. The clothes you wear, shower you took, computer you have, grass you walked on. What makes all these experiences fill you up with appreciation?
It's a great way to bring more presence into you life at the same time.
Build the feeling. Amplify it. Send it around your body and let it marinate.
Now that's the feeling!
Do that consistently and you'll be happiest person in the office or in your group!
"What's up with that guy?"
He's grateful...Life's pretty good, even when it's shit;)
p.s As a reminder, using coupon code: HEARTHOUSE - you will receive 20% off all Heart House Meditation membership options until the end of April!