Do you practice gratitude? I’m not talking about thanking someone for bringing you coffee or making their bed. Do you really show gratitude for everything life has given you? Most people will (or should) say NO. Until recently I would include myself in that NO group. Of course we’re thankful for what we have but do we put it out to the universe regularly?
Have you ever heard the quote “what we focus on grows”? It’s very true. Set your mind on something and eventually it happens. No, that doesn’t mean focus on being rich and suddenly a check arrives. I wish it was that simple. Setting your mind and intentions on a goal will lead to achieving that goal. Tell the universe what you want and the universe will put the path to achieving it in front of you. Of course what you do with what the universe gives you is completely up to you. When something doesn’t pan out it might be because that was not serving you goals.
What does this have to do with gratitude? Focus on being grateful for everything life gives you.
Buy the house of your dreams… show the universe gratitude for putting the opportunity in front of you.
Lost a job… be grateful. I know you’re probably thinking “be grateful for losing my job?!?!” YES, be grateful for the opportunity soon to come that you might have overlooked if you did not lose that job. When you dwell on the negative and allow your mind to live in that space, you miss all the good you still have and will soon have.
Mindset is incredibly important to all aspects of your life. Keeping a positive or an abundance mindset allows you to grow that positivity and abundance. Every day should start with gratitude. Be grateful that you woke up, have basic needs covered, have loved ones in your life, have all you need to be healthy, etc.
You might be saying”Yeah, yeah I am thankful for all that but…” If that was your thought, you are not practicing gratitude. Take a moment and truly show or express gratitude. How? I have a gratitude journal. I write down something I am grateful for every morning. It doesn’t have to be profound. Maybe today you were grateful for waking up without any aches and pains. Maybe it’s the knowledge that you don’t have to cook dinner tonight. Expressing gratitude for anything no matter how small starts your day on a positive note. When you start with a grateful heart it’s much easier to keep it that way.
Keep a note or image (like the one below) close by as a reminder throughout the day to focus on the good things in life. Flip negative experiences into positive ones. Getting stuck in traffic can become more time to listen to an audiobook or podcast. Dealing with a difficult person or situation becomes a proud moment showing how you kept your cool and made the most of a bad situation.
Here’s a huge gratitude lesson I learned over the last year. Like many people my job was ripped away from me due to Covid. The gym I worked at cancelled group fitness classes first, then the whole gym closed and a few months later the doors closed permanently. While I could whine and complain about all I lost (believe me I did), I am better served by focusing on all I’ve gained. More quality time with my kids (not rushing off to teach at the gym all the time), a lot more flexibility by teaching virtual on my own schedule, finally making the big move south to Virginia, completing my Yoga teacher training and so much more. Trust me there was a lot to complain about and be frustrated with and I totally got lost in that mind space for a while especially with the kids virtual learning debacle. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I learned to be grateful for all that I did have and all I gained.
Now that I have you convinced you should practice gratitude you might be wondering where to start. Here’s my suggestion:
- Get a gratitude journal (or any notebook) and start each day by writing something you are grateful for. Gratitude journals often include prompts which can help you get started.
- Do a gratitude meditation once a week. I really like this one because I have to offer gratitude even when it’s hard (probably the most important time to do so).
- Find ways throughout your day to show or express gratitude. Have that reminder note to prompt the positive thoughts. It can be simply stopping to appreciate the beautiful flowers you walk by or saying thank you for the small little things your spouse or child does that makes your day a little bit better.
Remember a lot of people don’t practice gratitude on a regular basis. Find the path of gratitude and abundance in your life and be the example to others to do the same. This should seem simple because it is. It does not have to be some complicated undertaking. Start right now. Close your eyes and say something you are grateful for. For example, I am grateful for Jennifer telling me to expressed gratitude daily 😉. It might feel pointless at first but your mindset will begin shifting and the universe will begin sending you abundance.
I am grateful for you taking the time to read this post and take action in your life.