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5 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
At this time of year, Thanksgiving traditions are re-enacted with care; we spend time with loved ones and friends, and the memories from the passing of years envelope us. We are usually asked at some point over the long weekend to ponder the aspects of our lives for which we are grateful. Many are in survival mode raising their young families. Many don’t have others with whom to celebrate and commune and feel a void within. Many begin making mental notes of the things that they don’t have or the aspects of their lives that are not going the way they want them to. Why is it important for us to cultivate gratitude? And how do we go about it?
Below are 5 reasons why it is important to cultivate gratitude and how to do it:
5 reasons why it is important to cultivate gratitude:
- Gratitude connects us to what feels right about ourselves and what is going well in our lives. Giving thanks for what we have augments its value in our mind and our love for ourselves. And then what is lacking in our lives seems so much less important.
- Gratitude is the secret to opening our hearts. When we are grateful, we lower our defenses and replace criticism, judgment and perceived lack with love and appreciation.
- Gratitude soothes our souls; sorrow always moves into gratitude once we heal.
- Gratitude helps us focus on the present moment. It is pretty difficult to think much about our past and future, things we cannot control or things that we should be doing when we are simply feeling grateful for where we are at this time.
- Think of how you feel when you give a gift to someone that is appreciative – all you want to do is give that person more gifts! The more grateful we are, the more blessings come our way…it’s just the way it works.
5 ways to cultivate gratitude (your children can do this with you too):
- Create a gratitude jar and write on slips of paper what you are grateful for each day and add it to the jar. At the end of each week, review everything and feel your heart fill up.
- Write thank you letters to the five people that have made the biggest difference in your life.
- Journal or scrapbook your positive experiences. This is a way to ensure we spend more time reliving and enjoying our memories of those moments.
- Celebrate your successes. When we start a new job, turn a year older or end a marriage that was holding us back, celebrating increases our gratitude.
- Practice seeing the gift in each challenging incident in your lives; before you know it, you will start to be able to see the gifts quickly and easily every time. If you experience digestive challenges, be grateful that your body is letting you know what foods or aspects of your environment are not good for you. Seeing the gifts in our challenges is actually the key to overcoming our challenges.
When we are so overcome with gratitude for what we have in our lives that we actually cry, we have felt the gratitude that literally shifts our perceptions and subsequently makes unimaginable improvements to our lives.
What are you grateful for? I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,