Far more than a simple act or buzzword for the day, month or season in your life, the practice of gratitude has transformative benefits. The path to joy in life is paved with mindful appreciation of everything good in your life. Spending five minutes per day contemplating everything in your life that is going well; everything you are grateful for; retrains your brain away from the negative thoughts reduces stress and overwhelm while increasing your sense of peace and calm. The brain’s naturally sharpened attentiveness to problems can begin to tip the scales of your life toward the negative. While you can always find areas of improvement in life, this tendency requires balancing.
The 10 things your mind does when it is not spending time in gratitude…
- It makes “to do” lists.
- It reviews all the things to be done.
- It ponders recent conversations with loved ones.
- It thinks excessively of those who have wronged you.
- It worries about lack of____________ .
- It rearranges our stuff (even mentally we do this!).
- It makes more to do lists.
- It grows anxious about all the things that are out of our control.
- It obsesses about world issues.
- It thinks a snack might make us feel better.
10 ways gratitude improves your life…
- It sets the tone for your day.
- It directs your thoughts to the positive.
- It causes your heart to feel warm and open.
- It reduces overwhelm and stress.
- It trains your brain to see and feel joy in your life.
- It reduces loneliness.
- It improves health.
- It gives energy.
- It is mindful, grounding us in the reality of the good in our lives.
- It counters the voice of ego which feeds on problems.
Grab a journal or set aside a time to make gratitude a daily practice. Write at least 3 “gratefuls” per day or set the reminder on your phone to pop up as a meeting with yourself for your 5 minutes of gratitude. What is in your life worthy of your attention? Plenty. Give gratitude a try today!
Looking for a 5 minute meditation to get you started? Enjoy Brother David Stendl-Rast’s Good Day
In future weeks, we will continue to learn more about mastering our mind, looking inward, and connecting to our truest selves. You are so worth it! Thank you for investing this time in Innerspace. If you are interesting in joining the INNERSPACE Facebook Group we would be happy to welcome you!
Kim Perone, Certified Life Coach at The Center for Clarity, Compassion & Contentment serves clients with one-on-one and group coaching. She can be reached at [email protected], (518) 301-3593.
For more information on life coaching and the Center’s activities, visit www.Center4c.com.