Gratitude has become one of the most transformative tools in my life. There is all sorts of new evidence coming to light about how actively choosing to be grateful increases our happiness. Research shows that just by acting grateful, we actually become more grateful! I have definitely noticed the upswing in my own internal joy thermometer since I started incorporating gratitude intentionally into my daily life. So if you are seeking happiness, which most of us are, you now can access that secret ingredient: gratitude.
There are three specific ways I have incorporated gratitude in my life, and have experienced the benefits to my overall state of mind and happiness: as a morning practice for opening my heart to the day, to shift my energy from negative to positive and to step into my Vision, as if it is already happening.
Before I even get out of bed, while saying my morning affirmations, I focus on at least three things in my life that I am grateful for. Some people find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal and some people give their thanks at night. For me, there is something uplifting and foundation-setting about starting each new day with gratitude that opens up my heart and expands my energy to invite further blessings from the day ahead. I can actually feel my body tingle and the endorphins pumping through my blood as I reflect on at least three things, or people, experiences or relationships that I am truly grateful for. Sometimes after a restless night’s sleep that leads me to wake up anxious, the gratitude affirmation becomes especially important to refocus my energy on what is positive in my life. After my three gratitude affirmations, I then declare what I intend to create that day (always after opening my heart through gratitude) and thank the Universe for supporting me to manifest and Live My big, bold Vision.
When I’m feeling particularly stuck, hopeless or upset about a situation, I use gratitude (especially when I’m feeling quite the opposite) to shift my energy and bring me out of the darkness. I try to remind myself to be grateful for the blessings in my life and trust that life always comes around to support me in the end. It always has and it always will.
I know it can be hard to think about being grateful when we are feeling miserable. It seems totally counter-intuitive to be grateful about anything when one is hopeless and in a negative-thought-spiral. But the act of choosing gratitude (regardless of our feeling), is often the magic pill that gives us just the PERSPECTIVE we need to shift our energy and transform it into something lighter. Research — and my own life experience — has shown that just by choosing to practice gratitude, we actually become happier. Use this powerful tool the next time you are feeling down and notice what subtle shift of perspective begins to happen.
When I really want to make my Vision happen that hasn’t manifested in the world yet, the other powerful practice I use is to thank the Universe in advance! This is when my Vision Vessel comes in handy too. I just write down my deep desire on a piece of paper in the form of a gratitude statement. I recently was struggling to find a renter for my condo. I wrote on a scrap of paper “Thank you for my dream renter, who is easy to work with and takes great care of my place” and tossed it into my Vision Vessel. I was essentially being thankful for something that hadn’t happened quite yet, but in my advance gratitude declaration, I was affirming to myself and the Universe that it would indeed happen. And yes, even though it took a bit longer than I had wanted, my dream renter did indeed appear!
I take this same approach for my morning intentions and affirmations too. I start by declaring my gratitude for what I really want to manifest. For example: “Thank you Universe for creating all these amazing opportunities for VisionVenture, where I get to speak often about Vision, and it’s making such a positive impact on peoples lives!” This is also an effective tool for “acting as if” and generating the positive feelings of gratitude that energetically invites our Vision into our body, mind, spirit and then out into the world!
So as we celebrate this Thanksgiving season with our collective focus ongratitude, consider how this powerful and transformative force can be incorporated more intentionally as a daily practice into your own life. It will surely make you happier and more grateful. You can start now by considering three things in your life that you are deeply thankful for! And as I write this, I am feeling super grateful for…
My VisionVenture dream manifesting, my loving and accepting family, and the optimism I feel about unleashing people’s greatest potential.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie
This post was originally published on Medium.com