How expressing gratitude can change your life
Maybe you have already heard how important it is to express our gratitude every day. One of the main teachings of Buddhism is also being grateful for everything around us.
But how can we practice the expression of gratitude?
Every morning after my practice I tell myself: “My day begins with gratitude and joy.” I read this quote in a book of Louise L. Hay a couple of years ago and it became my habit to repeat it every day. After saying this sentence, I list the things I’m grateful for. It helps me to start the day with a positive mindset and reminds me that no matter how difficult life may seem I still have plenty of things in my life to be grateful for.
Obviously, it’s challenging to maintain this state of inner peace within ourselves during the day but it helps to remind us that there are good things to hold onto. With time we are able to create a habit of expressing gratitude so it may become an unconscious act and later on even a general approach.
Have you ever considered for how many things you can be grateful for?
When I list the things I am grateful for I think about my family, my friends for loving, accepting and supporting me on my way. I’m grateful for my own health and the health of my beloved ones. I’m grateful for my students and clients for their trust, for visiting my classes and sessions. I’m grateful for their honest feedbacks on how yoga and sound therapy affected their lives. I’m grateful for my opportunities in life. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to study and to do what really interests me. I’m grateful for my experiences that formed me no matter if I marked them as positive or negative because I know that every lesson holds the possibility of learning and development. We can learn something about ourselves and about others from almost every situation if we listen and pay attention carefully.
Or we can be grateful for really basic things, like the nature around us, the air, the trees, the sunshine, which are vital for our survival. Moreover, we can be grateful for having a home, a shelter above our heads, food and drinking water, which we take for granted but unfortunately are not so evident for everyone in the world. And the list can go on and on.
We can not only be grateful for material things but for the behaviour and kindness of others. Also, with time we may learn to be grateful for every experience, even for the negative ones. However sometimes it might be difficult to conceive a certain situation as a blessing but with time it gets easier, especially if we see these as opportunities for self-development. Everything is temporary anyway, which means also the negative state will not last forever. Moreover, we cannot truly possess anything even if we have that illusion. So be grateful for everything that surrounds you right now.
Start the expression of gratitude from the beginning. First you can start your day with listing three things you are grateful for. Soon you will realize that the list expands and there are so many blessings in your life. Then just let the feeling of bliss and happiness fill your heart.
I will bring you a meditation exercise related to gratefulness soon. If you make a habit of being grateful you will see a change in your perception about life. At least you can start and close your day with a positive attitude, which is a great first step.