If we want to be able to kick a goal or play the guitar well we have to practice but how often do you consciously choose to practice being grateful? Why would you? Of all the things I've read and crazy things I have tried this is the one simple trick I have learned that is not just instantly gratifying but, over time, profoundly life improving!
Maybe you don't feel grateful for very much? Life may have dealt you one too many hard blows. Plenty of people feel pretty knocked around by life, or ground down by the rat race or are simply heart broken or devastated in some other way. That's okay - with this little experiment it's good to start small! Ease yourself in...
This is not a mind game - we're not talking about spinning things so they have a positive twist, mastering your mind and learning to talk like some self-help apostle.
This is not about smoke and mirrors, positive self talk or any of that other stuff - which can all be useful and has its place. This is about tapping into and acknowledging a genuine feeling. Something that is already in you but does't get a lot of air play. A sincere honest "thank you" that you don't have to force or talk yourself into... we're just working at getting into the habit of actually acknowledging the good stuff that unfolds in your life. Even just the tiniest things.
Some easy ways to begin may be: "thank you for giving me that parking space when I was runnng late", "thank you for this glorious sunny day!", "thank you for putting such a sweet old lady next to me on the bus today", "thanks for letting me get inside the house before it started to rain", "thanks for giving me such adorable children", "thanks for letting me be born in this country", "thanks for saving me $1 a kilo for those tomatoes today" etc...
It's takes a little time - a moment of reflection as life unfolds - to get into the swing of practicing gratitude. It requires that as something good happens you take that time to go "Ah! Thank you!". Who (or what) you choose to thank is up to you - maybe God or Allah or the Universe or Mother Mary or Krishna or Isis or the Archangel Michael or... (you get the idea!)...
...but instantly, the moment you stop, observe and acknowledge that particular gift, big or small, something happens in you: you feel grateful... and peace and happiness follow close behind. Magic.
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Allowing yourself to feel good
Quote - Alex Noble - spirit of the journey
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