In our previous article, we examined the transformative power of gratitude and its effect on man. This time, we will look at some simple practical ways to connect with gratitude and broaden our horizons by discussing its spiritual dimension.
The benefits of gratitude:
- Gratitude makes you appreciate the value of something, and when you appreciate the value of something, you extract more benefits from it; you’re less likely to take it for granted.
- Studies found if you are grateful, you are less resentful towards someone who has something you don’t have.
- Gratitude helps you recover more quickly from stress, adversity and trauma by helping you interpret negative events. It has been found to give you a perspective to help guard against post-traumatic stress and lasting anxiety.
- People who are grateful tend to be more helpful and empathic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less predisposed to gratefulness. Gratitude helps us see something bigger than ourselves and thus give meaning to life.
- Gratitude increases your sense of self-worth.
- Gratitude can improve relationships. Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.
- People who practice gratitude consistently report benefits such as stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; higher levels of positive emotions; more joy, optimism, and happiness; act with more generosity and compassion; and feel less lonely and isolated.
We understand now that Gratitude is a Transformative Force that we can use to our favor.
How can we connect with Gratitude and align our energy with is high vibration?
The most common method for cultivating gratitude is by keeping a “gratitude journal” and recording experiences for which one is grateful. The idea is to write about at least three positive experiences on a daily basis. Examples include taking notice of something in nature, an object of beauty, a pleasant conversation with a friend, a good cup of coffee or helping someone with a problem.
Recording these positive experiences boosts levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy, especially when compared to those who recorded or focused on negative events. Our days rarely go according to plan or without unexpected challenges. Some of us can naturally appreciate the sweet moments as they happen throughout the day, while many of us need to cultivate this sense of appreciation. Research shows that writing down this for which one is grateful for only two consecutive weeks has lasting positive effects sustained for up to six months.
Other ways to connect to gratitude
- Say thank you often — particularly to those who serve you!
- Write down a letter of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life — give it to them in person if possible.
- Express gratitude at meals alone or with loved ones.
- Write down what you appreciate about yourself.
- Express or show gratitude to your partner.
Training the Brain for Positivity and Gratitude
Another powerful way to build positivity is by practicing a “gratitude meditation”. This method helps to train the mind for greater positivity, gratitude and happiness. Practice this meditation for a few minutes at a time. The more you do this the more you create new neural pathways and alter existing ones as we train the brain to develop a more grateful outlook. Get into a comfortable seated position, make sure than nothing and no one will interrupt your practice, and …close your eyes.
- Think about “What am I really grateful for?”
- Take whatever comes to mind first and build on that thought.
Remember that Frequent gratitude trains the brain to choose positive thoughts. Consistency is the key to changing your mindset, and your life.
Gratitude and Spirituality
In other words, being grateful is equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. It is the same as being in a state of bliss. It allows us to see value, virtue and benefit in everything. In this regard, gratitude can be considered the antidote to many forms of suffering. Therefore, it might also be, in its own right, an actual form of spirituality.
In short, the spiritual discipline of gratitude leaves behind the realm of simple emotion and instead becomes an attitude, a stance, a way of life.
One that necessitates great commitment and effort to develop and maintain – the offering of a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the altar of life. A primary purpose of all spiritual practices is to gain a fresh perspective on life — to discover new dimensions that can’t be accessed when one’s mind is consumed by material distractions and simple busyness. In this, gratitude serves as a singularly effective portal.
By Vagelis Tasopoulos