What is a Gratitude Practice and Why You Need One
It seems that the word “gratitude” is a big buzz word these days, especially within the health conscious community. It is nearly tied for first with “mindfulness” on this century’s holistic health hot topics list.
And not without good reason! Gratitude is such an important emotion to feel, and state of mind to cultivate.
When we feel grateful for what we have it releases endorphins and serotonin within our brains that help to strengthen our immune systems and stave of mental health calamities.
But you don’t just have to take my word for it. There are numerous studies and articles that detail the immense physical and mental benefits of gratitude. Psychology Today published a great break down of the key ways that gratitude helps us cope.
Just as people put the philosophical and physical components of yoga into practice, a gratitude practice can be developed.
It’s simple to start with these three easy steps.
1. Set a goal for yourself — something realistic, maybe once or twice a week to start. Give yourself a specific amount of time and set a timer on your watch or phone.
2. Sit down with yourself on the time you’ve set aside and think about all the ways you feel blessed, or all the people in your life that you love and that love you.
Think about all the support you have and all the compassion you plan to continue treating yourself with as you face life’s peaks and valleys.
3. Consider creating a gratitude journal where you record these thoughts and feelings. This will come in handy on those rough days where you go to sit down only to feel frustrated because you’re not feeling particularly grateful. Instead of loosing patience and giving up, you can crack open that beautiful gratitude journal you’ve been keeping and review previous accounts of what you were grateful for.
Maybe one week it was that small favor a stranger went out of their way to do for you. Or maybe it was something big you wanted to sit with, and feel, like the fact that your cardiovascular system makes it possible to breathe the soothing breaths of fresh air you need when you feel overwhelmed.
It’s your journal. There are no rules, all of the intricate thoughts you have or just plain silly ones come in handy in moments where you need to reconnect with yourself.
Stay consistent with your gratitude practice.
Set reminders in your phone or write it in your planner.
Gratitude creates a strong foundation of abundance that doesn’t allow for the erosive cracks of lack to destroy all that you’ve already built within your life.
Be kind, be good, be grateful 🙏🏼!