My favorite topic, after sex, is gratitude. You hear some of the greats like Marianne Williamson and Oprah Winfrey talk about keeping a gratitude journal, but it’s such a simple process that people don’t do it. Why is it that we think something has to be hard for it to work?
Every morning I make a practice of writing down 3 things I’m grateful for. If I’m not having a particularly good morning, I write more. Sometimes the things I write are silly, which is great because it powers up the vibration of gratitude.
Oprah had some good things to say about what was happening in her life when she got away from writing her gratitude and how she got back to it. I am going to disagree with her on one point though, don’t do it electronically. Hand write with a blue pen on white paper. I know, you all love your electronics and so do I. I write it on my tablet. Have stylus, will write. The reason for writing instead of typing is that when we type, we only make 3 different movements with our hands. When we write, it’s over 10,000. Talk about putting the brain to work.
What happens when you keep a gratitude journal? People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. For you that like the science behind it, you’re welcome.
Some other tips for expressing gratitude:
- Express gratitude around the dinner table.
- Thank those being of service to you, even if it is their job.
- Find something to be grateful for in the hard things.
- Write a letter to someone and share with them how they have impacted you.
- Take a moment to thank your higher power.
- Notice the little things.
- Come up with some of your own practices.
A quick story on how gratitude impacted me. I worked with a woman who I called, “The Troll.” She was the nastiest woman and was always swearing at me in Spanish, under her breath, yelling at me for stupid things, etc. I generally wouldn’t be this way, but I would go out of my way to piss her off. She was that nasty. I decided to change my own attitude and made a practice of finding things I could be grateful for in her. Things changed quickly. She would now smile when she saw me. She would help me with different tasks. She even hugged me once. I didn’t say a word to change the situation. I just chose gratitude.
It’s fun and life changing to practice gratitude. Give it a try.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson