Gratitude. The word has been so overused, so forced down our throats in recent years that we might not even be sure what it means anymore. Is it a practice? Is it an emotion? Is it something you have to journal about? Is it a word you put on a T-shirt? The short answer is: yes. It is all of those things and so much more. But while gratitude has been credited by so many for being integral in the road to happiness and enlightenment, it’s often overly emphasized as being the key to fixing all of your problems. And if gratitude is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, and you have to force it, you could begin to resent it. According to Psychology Today, “Studies show that specific areas of the brain are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude.” Here are the best ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily spiritual practice: 1. Say or write down 5-10 things you are grateful for in a given moment. It might be trite, but start big or small and work your way up or down. For example: “I am grateful for my heart because it pumps blood throughout my body and keeps me alive. And my heart has been beating on its own and keeping me alive since I was conceived.” Or, “I’m grateful to be able to move my hand and write this list. I know someone who’s suffering from a neurological disorder who would give anything to be able to journal again.” Practicing making lists or saying things you’re grateful for out loud will help program your subconscious and create a higher vibration for you, so it’s a win-win. Once you begin to do this regularly, you’ll see how you naturally move into a state of gratitude. One day, you might look out your window and be grateful for a tree in your yard because it is so beautiful. Nature is a great place to be in to practice gratitude. You won’t just think it, you will feel it. Thinking leads to feeling, and feeling gratitude is the key. 2. Set an alarm: Set an alarm each day to stop, close your eyes, and practice feeling grateful within your body. Express this gratitude into the universe. Thank the universe for guiding you on your soul’s journey each day, and for being by your side to help you live a life of the highest good. This action will help amplify the law of attraction.
3. Change your story. This is a big one. While ruminating on the past isn’t always the most productive use of your time, your past could be the very reason you are here reading this blog right now. If you have endured trauma, drama, or disappointments that have led you to a place of woundedness or hopelessness, then this one is for you. Change your story. No matter how dark your story is, there is a bright side if you allow it to shine through. “Thank goodness my abusive ex-boyfriend was so terrible to me, because I was able to take that experience and turn it into a passion where I can help other domestic abuse survivors heal.” Or, “I’m grateful for the layoffs at my company because now I am able to pursue the career that feeds my soul and helps me rise to my highest good.” Changing your story is hard, but making peace with the past and letting it go will free you immensely, and you will begin to express gratitude for heinous things in your past because they have led you to the person you are today. You might not always get closure from those who have hurt you or make logical sense of why terrible things happened, but you can ultimately learn to find peace within yourself, and that’s really all that matters. In the end, you survived whatever happened, and that in and of itself is something to be grateful for. Don’t let gratitude leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Start slowly incorporating these practices into your day-to-day, and pay attention to the small ways it alters your vibration for the better. Photo Source: Pexels.com