"Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more." David Steindl-Rast
Do you know you can feel good instantly just by taking a couple of minutes to focus on what you are thankful for in your life?
We all have a lot to be grateful for in our lives by the very fact that we are alive, however, the default setting of the mind is to focus on what we don’t have, complain, compare and look at limitations. And as long as we let the default setting run our lives it will always be a struggle to be happy in the long term.
The Law of Attraction is a universal law which states that; like energy attracts like energy. It can be stated in other terms as, you attract what you focus on.
When we complain and focus our attention on not having enough, we receive more circumstances in our lives to complain about and more instances that reflect lack.
On the other hand, by shifting our focus to what we are thankful for, we receive more events and circumstances in our lives to be grateful for. That is simply how the law operates.
Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a great way to rewire the default setting of our minds. This trains our mind to focus on the good that is always present in our lives rather than being in a perpetual state of never having enough.
But why should you engage in some hippy-dippy practice of giving thanks you might wonder?
An overwhelming amount of research and studies done on gratitude indicate that being grateful can make you happier, strengthen relationships, have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, help in reducing stress, be more productive among a long list of benefits.
When we are going through a rough time being grateful is the last thing on our minds. However, there is always be something to be grateful for, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. As Buddha said over 25 centuries ago,
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.”
So here’s how to get started.
Write 5 things you are grateful in your life each morning. And describe why you are grateful. You can begin each sentence by saying Thank you God/ Universe for... or I am grateful for....
Here's an example, Thank you God I am fortunate to have a great brother who I connect with and is fun to be around.
Once you have written it down, take the time to say thank you mentally or verbally. Dwell on each blessing and feel the feelings of gratitude.
To get the most out of the practice it’s important however, to take the time to really feel grateful for each blessing rather than to merely write it down. What we give out, we receive. Therefore, the more sincerely grateful we feel, the more we receive in our lives to be grateful for by the operation of the Law of Attraction.
Gratitude works quickly, and you will be able to see its positive impact in your life within a few days of continuously doing this practice. You will begin to experience lots of synchronicities and favourable events throughout the day that will be hard to dismiss as a coincidence.
Here are a few gratitude journaling prompts to get you started off,
1. What was the best thing that happened today/ yesterday?
2. The events in your day that you were thankful for and why?
3. What boosted your mood or made you smile today?
4. What do you most appreciate about your family?
5. A friend/ friends that you are really grateful to have in your life and why?
6. What talent you have are you most thankful for and why?
7. What’s something you are grateful to have today that you didn’t have a year ago?
8. What material possession are you most thankful for in your life and why?
Life feels really wonderful when we are feeling grateful, rather than taking what we have for granted. Keeping a gratitude journal has made me realise happiness doesn’t need to be tied to achieving goals, success, or sometime in the future. It can be experienced by taking the time to focus on what is already good in our lives.
By setting aside time every morning to celebrate your life and focus on the good, you will find that life will bring more and more instances to be thankful for.
If you liked this article, please share it with someone you think would find it useful — I'd really appreciate it.
For simple and practical wisdom on how to live better and be happier, enter your email below to join the mailing list.