S. LEE WRIGHT
HOLISTIC INNER DESIGNS

Gratitude emerges as a powerful force shaping your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Scientific research is now (finally!) confirming that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can improve your life significantly. When you add this practice to your daily routine, you open up a world of goodness that increases your quality of life more than any other habit can. Want to make 2024 your best year yet? Read to get (3) easy-to-implement habits to embrace for the New Year.

The Science behind Gratitude

Scientific findings unveil that gratitude not only enhances happiness, but also services as a key to unlocking better sleep, reduced stress, and a fortified immune system. This is reminiscent of the interconnected flow of energy in Feng Shui. You’ve heard about the importance of a positive mindset for ever though it wasn’t scientifically studied until the early 2000’s. In The Science of Gratitude from the UC Berkeley, it explains that despite our understanding that feelings of gratitude are good for us, our ‘negative bias’ is hardwired into our minds from birth. Therefore, it takes a conscious mindset to choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative, and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Though let’s be honest. Life can really feel unfair and challenging sometimes. It’s not easy to buck the trend of focusing on materialistic wealth when there are huge road signs at every corner telling you that stuff equals happiness. It’s also very tough to focus on the positive when life is throwing you sucky situations in your path. Trust me, I’ve had more than my fair share of losses throughout my life, so I have the challenge of looking for that sometimes elusive attitude of gratitude.

So, why should you make the effort to buck your natural trend and not go down the rabbit hole of self-pity when things are not obviously sunshine and roses?

To cultivate an attitude of gratitude is a great thanksgiving day gift to give yourself.

Credit image Levi Guzman, Unsplash

Some of the Benefits of Gratitude

Studies like The Science of Gratitude are starting to give proof to the fact that adopting an attitude of gratitude leads to healthier lifestyle choices, less depression, a better perspective on life’s challenges, deeper and more restorative sleep and a greater ability to bounce back from life’s more traumatising events. Even medical research is linking this and indicates that there is less inflammation in people with heart problems and reduces anxiety and stress. “Gratitude is the greatest of virtues and the parent of all the others.”, Cicero said over 2000 years ago. Now it’s claimed that gratitude can deepen other highly esteemed virtues like patience, humility and wisdom. And last but not least, an attitude of gratitude deepens and strengthens our personal relationships, especially our romantic ones.

So, now you’ve got a whole slew of reasons why developing an attitude of gratitude could be a fabulous new habit to build into your life. But now the question is how to do this?

What Exactly is Gratitude?

Perhaps before we delve into how to do it, we ought to define what it is just so you are totally clear what you are about to embrace to elevate your quality of life.

Beyond a mere expression of politeness, gratitude, in alignment with the energy principles of Feng Shui, is the conscious recognition of the positive currents within one’s life. It is the appreciation of kindness bestowed upon us, echoing the harmonious energy exchange inherent in Feng Shui.

Honing your inner attitude of being more thankful for the circumstances going on in and around you is also a way to shift from an ego-centric attitude to one with a larger, more holistic perspective. It helps us to start to be the best  version of ourselves. It can be the biggest leap towards healing the planet that you can do right now. Feng Shui principles teach us everything is interconnected and it all starts from within. You can change your own inner space to change your impact the outer environment. Changing your attitude is the first step.

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Credit image, Unplash, Thought Catalog

Attitude of gratitude journal is one of the ways you can practice your new thanks-giving skills.

How to Practice Gratitude

Now you know how being grateful can have some personal healing benefits for your own life, plus it can be a healing balm for the planet too. Then the next question is how to do this most effectively.

Creating a sustainable habit starts with being realistic, taking small steps in the right direction and consistency. Do not jump into the deep end before you can swim. Here are (3) ideas you can start with. For a sustainable practice of developing your own attitude of gratitude, take (1) of these ideas first and practice them consistently every day for a month. After you have built trust within yourself, you can build from there, adding others as you can. The key is to do it in small enough steps to maintain a consistent – sustainable- practice. Remember to be gentle with yourself too, because everyone needs time to implement a new life habit into their daily routines. Patience and practice are virtues to guide you through this journey.

Say it Out Loud.

Simply acknowledging your gratitude to someone every day is a very powerful and effective way to raise your own vibration while also enhancing another person’s happiness. Kindness is known to be a powerful life skill for both the giver and the receiver. You need to come from a place of sincerity and authenticity. With practice, you can find something nice to say to everyone, even the challenging relative you are seated next to at the Thanksgiving table this year.

Put Pen to Paper.

Get yourself an attitude for gratitude journal and use it only for the express purpose of writing down things you are grateful for. If you can do one a day, then great. But even if it is not that often, it will always be a resource for those times when you need a reminder. It can be as simple as being grateful for your comfy bed, your cat, your partner, or your job. It’s your story, so do as you wish. This can be a useful tool for the days when you struggle to find the source of your gratitude, reminding you of the things that have warmed your heart before,

Talk to Yourself.

Every night, before you go to sleep, try to imagine one thing during your day that you are grateful for. Let this become your nightly practice and you will be rewarded with better dreams and a stronger sense of a good life. When you have a great memory of something that you’re thankful for, then you can dream of new ways to bring more of that goodness into your life. Once you start this, you can build the practice of discovering more than one thing to be grateful for, but the consistency of finding one is all you need to do to start with.

Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things. – Rhonda Byrne

With the support from the scientific community, it’s now easier to understand the importance of an attitude of gratitude and to cultivate it as a part of your daily life. Your body will be healthier, your monkey-mind will have less control over you, and your heart will have more space for bringing love to the world. Start with one of the three tips – either create an attitude of gratitude journal, start to give your compliments daily, or tell yourself nightly stories of the good stuff in your life.

Then repeat every day.

Your future self will thank you for this!

Canva design by S. Lee Wright

 

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