Gratitude is a two-way flow of appreciation between your thanks and the uplifting response that you feel in return. The flow of gratitude from the heart is received by Nature in the same spirit it is given, and it is returned to us as grace.
If we are tired, upset, or stressed, then our heart is closed and we are not able to feel or express sincere gratitude. Genuine gratitude comes from a feeling of contentment, safety, and being welcomed in your life — what Buddha called the “gladdened heart.”
This natural energy of gratitude is awakened when we meditate. Our intention in meditation will be to invite this warm attitude of appreciation into our awareness and perception. With this recharged heart of thankfulness, we will find reason to be grateful wherever we look.
Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health.
Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook:
- Felt better about their lives as a whole
- Experienced greater levels of joy and happiness
- Felt optimistic about the future
- Got sick less often
- Exercised more regularly
- Had more energy, enthusiasm, determination, and focus
- Made greater progress toward achieving important personal goals
- Slept better and awoke feeling refreshed
- Felt stronger during trying times
- Enjoyed closer family ties
- Were more likely to help others and offer emotional support
- Experienced fewer symptoms of stress
If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.
Gratitude, in the very instant of its realisation, can simply transform one’s life. The happiest people we have known are those that have given simple gratitude for their lives circumstances. It is a positive way of approaching life and spirituality and combining the two. It enhances our lives because it is a spiritual way of living and growing in the realisation that positive energy manifested through thought and emotion, is the universes’ way of teaching us the magical secret of life which is to be happy.
Keep a Gratitude Journal – Who or what inspired me today? What brought me happiness today?
Write a Thank You Letter– Make a list of at least five people who have had a profound impact on your life. Choose one and write a thank you letter expressing gratitude for all the gifts you’ve received from that person. If possible, deliver your gratitude letter in person.
Take a Gratitude Walk