I am choosing Gratitude Practice as the next addition to the Toolbox for three big reasons.
The first because the end of the year is a good time for reflection, to take stock. Why not go out being thankful for the lessons learned and the blessings bestowed. My second is that this was the year that we lost Louise Hay, the Grande Damme of Gratitude Herself (at least as a body on the earthly plane;) her contributions remain intact and potent). One of the true pioneers of the Positivity Movement and a beautiful soul. And for the final reason, because it really is quite an effective practice. I mean what else do all major world religions, new agers, and science all agree on? Nothing else is jumping to mind. No matter how you justify the practice, it seems to have a positive effect on those that make it a regular part of life.
For those of us that are a little allergic to the what might be thought of as woo, neuroscience is all about the benefits of being grateful. Research is showing that those that take time out to be thankful are reaping all kinds of benefits (this is a straight forward article about it if this topic is new to you.) Who doesn’t want better sleep, more general contentedness, resilience, and facility with relationships! Thanks to a little something called neuroplasticity even our outlook on life turns out to be something we can fine tune.
Pretty much it can be as uncomplicated as just noticing what is, something a little more formal like taking a few moments each day or night to be silently grateful, perhaps making a list or gratitude journalling (bullet style is what I would like to try this year, looks fun!)
There are Buddhist techniques of considering how you are beholden to all the other beings that contribute to your existence and sending out thanks. Or you might conjure up the memory of a time you felt profound appreciation and bask in that feeling, bring it to the present. There are so many ways that one can practice gratitude, the most important thing is to pick something and do it often.
Why I Like the Tool
While I was always taught to be grateful for what I had and the help of others, something about the puritan take on it is a little lackluster (or at least it was for me). As I got older and began to experiment with more active engaged types of gratitude practice, it became evident that this was a powerful tool worth cultivating.
As a person with ongoing long bouts of depression my brain is I would guess even more sensitive to the natural negativity bias. So it makes sense to me that taking an active way in reshaping the way my brain fires would be in my best interest. I am really loving all the science that is coming out to back up what more ancient wisdoms have been teaching for much longer.
I have been slacking on an active practice, writing this article has been useful for showing me where I am at and what the rewards for being more dedicated could be. I like that, makes me thankful I get to be doing this! So I think I would have more fun with my gratitude journalling if I could do it in a more creative way like I have seen people doing with their bullet journals online. Maybe that would make it easier to maintain, I have enjoyed a written kind before too, but I think it got turned into a “should,” and that’s a sure-fire killer for me. I am sure some of those helpful lists of prompts (and some doodles) would keep things fresher.
Wow, I have found some awesome new resources on this topic, look at all this great sites and institutes dedicated to positive thinking:)
Please do take some time for yourself to look over the ones that call to you and bring the transformative tool of gratitude into your life.
*So I think your easiest entry point into this practice is probably to check out some of the great lists like this one from Life Hacker.
*Yes I’d like to change my set happiness point! and it’s a wonderful article that goes into more of the science behind why this stuff works.
*Could an app help me be more grateful like Happify or Unstuck? I don’t know but when I find out I will let you know. I loved this article found on their website, seems like some smart people on that team. The Science Behind Gratitude. And this Website is a beauty, I will go deeper on here for sure A Practical Guide to Gratitude
*This author shares a very personal story and then gives some very solid guide lines to begin. How to start a Gratitude Practice to Change Your Life is a worthy read.
*Here is our So Grateful:) Pinterst Board with lots of ideas and inspirations.
*Of course Ted Talks has a lot to say on the matter, and I will be watching all of them this week.
*And last but certainly not least Louise Hay has so many wonderful videos on the topic, like this one
Please do check out our ever growing for more helpful ideas Toolbox
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.