The Grateful Life
When is the last time you were intentionally GRATEFUL on a daily basis?
Gratitude has an amazing way of shifting my focus onto the many blessings that God has showered on me. But during the times when I least feel like giving thanks, I’ve discovered that just doing it anyway brings about such worthwhile results. Once I get started, it feels like the list could go on forever.
Living a healthy lifestyle is really important to me, so I research some of the benefits of practicing gratitude daily, and they are innumerable:
** Helps release toxic emotions such as frustration, envy, regret and resentment while increasing sensitivity and empathy towards others.
** It improves self-esteem and personal relationships by reducing social comparisons.
We all know and understand that gratitude is good for us, however, its’not always easy to practice GRATITUDE regularly.
To fully harness the power of the grateful life, I've found a few easy ways to incorporate Grateful Living Practices into my busy days.
1. Be grateful first thing upon waking up
Every morning before jumping out of bed into the new day, I would pause for a few moments and give thanks for the following. I give thanks for the opportunity to live and experience another new day, for the people in my life whom I love and who love me, for the good night rest I just had, for the work I get to go to later, for the clothes that keep me warm and for the commute money I have so I don't have to walk to work.
2. Be grateful before every meal
As I sit before my meal, I'll always make a quick mental note to feel thankful for the food that fuels my body and ultimately aids in the realization of my dreams. I also give thanks to the meals for nourishing me and for giving me a breather to savor life in the midst of a crazy workday. If I happen to be with company, I'll often give thanks for the friendship, companionship and love I receive from the person I'm with.
3. Be grateful when moving or exercising
We often take for granted our good health and the freedom that comes with it. Whenever I'm walking, running or exercising, I'll take the occasion to give thanks for having the ability to move as I wish and to stay fit. Especially when I'm in the midst of a tough workout routine, I'll repeat in my heart, "I'm so grateful for my hands, my legs and my good health". This mantra never fails to keep me going till the end of the session.
4. Be grateful during shower or when getting ready for bed
At the end of each day, I like to wrap up the day by doing the following gratitude practice in my shower or when getting ready for bed. I'll start by giving thanks for the day that has been completed, followed by focusing on the parts of the day that went well. I'll then give thanks for having a home to return to, hot shower to keep me feeling fresh and clean and a warm bed to sleep in later.
5. Be grateful each time something wonderful happens or when a problem is solved
Whenever something good happens or when I overcome a challenge or avert a crisis, I'll take a moment to express my appreciation to the universe. It's important to acknowledge the victory and the hard work that went into it and to soak in the relief before getting back into the humdrum of our daily lives. More often than not, it isn't that good things don't happen to us, it's just that we don't pay enough attention to them.
How often do you practice gratitude in your everyday life? Which of the above ideas would you use?
Have a wonderful day, and spend some time reflecting on all there is to be grateful for.