This Gratitude Meditation Will Make You So Damn Thankful For…. EVERYTHING!

Published by P M Harrison on

attitude of gratitude

When you practice gratitude meditation you start to feel super positive about… well, pretty much everything actually. 

Gratitude is arguably the number one trait of positive people. It is one of the main types of happiness—we should experience all types regularly.

Gratitude makes you happy, makes you glad, and is basically a big rainbow rising over your life.

Listen:

Gratitude feels great. That’s definitely true. I personally love nothing more than getting the day off to a good start by meditating on gratitude in the morning.

But did you know that gratitude is so important it can even stop depression, anxiety, stress, and many other problems that we face in life?

That’s why gratitude meditation matters so much.

And there are specific meditations for gratitude that will very quickly inject some thankfulness and happiness into your life.

You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy--Buddha Click To Tweet
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Seriously, Gratitude Is So Important—Just look at these benefits

Science has proven that along with hope and positivity, gratitude is one of the most important character traits we can possess.

Just look at this huge list of benefits of gratitude.

 

Benefits of Gratitude

  • Massively improves happiness
  • More positive feelings
  • Relaxation
  • Higher resilience
  • Less envy
  • Happier memories
  • Less materialism
  • Less self centred
  • More optimistic
  • Higher self esteem
  • Better sleep
  • Less sick days
  • Heightened longevity
  • Increase energy
  • Motivates us to exercise
  • Makes us more social
  • Improves marriage
  • Reduces divorces
  • Makes us kinder
  • Improves relationships
  • Improves interpersonal connection
  • Improves personal management
  • Improves networking
  • Improves goal achievements
  • Improves decision making
  • Increases productivity

These are the benefits of gratitude that have been proven by science. But long before science, there was religion and spirituality.

If you’re a spiritual person you’ll love the teachings that I’ve shared below.

Let’s take a look.

 

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Before you start doing gratitude meditations, here’s some inspiring thoughts…

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.--Lincoln Click To Tweet

Gratitude meditation will massively improve your levels of gratitude. And that’s a good thing. 

Buddha taught that gratitude is one of the most important things in life. He said that a human birth is rarer than the chance that a tiny turtle in the big ocean would ever poke its head through a tiny hoop.

He instructed the monks to sit at the base of a tree in the heart of the forest and practice what he called “Gladdening the heart”.

Monks would do this by reflecting on the positive and good that has happened to them, and particularly to reflect on how fortunate they were to have found the dharma.

The Buddhist way of meditating on gratitude is to be mindful of all the favorable things that have happened to us. Mindfulness of gratitude, Buddha taught, connects us to the broader experience of life and increases connectivity and oneness.

Many people make a common mistake of thinking that it is unrealistic to meditate on gratitude because there are so many negatives in life.

However, Lao Tzu said the quote below:

“Correct your mind and the rest of your life will fall into place”. Click To Tweet

The reason the mind needs correcting is because we dwell on negative thoughts.

The human brain is prone to negativity bias, whereby we focus on the negative more than on the positive. We balance this out with gratitude meditation, in which we focus on the positive. It is the act of titrating the bad with the good that creates positive changes in the mind.

Many people have asked me for advice after the death of a loved on. I find it challenging to say, “be grateful’, because someone has died. But the fact is that we are already dwelling on the negative, and gratitude meditation helps us to balance out the negativity with positivity.

The bible agrees with this.

Thessalonians 5:15–18 says:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God.” Click To Tweet

The Sufi poet Rumi expressed gratitude in his poem The Guest House:

 

The Guest House—Rumi (A Gratitude Poem)

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

— Jellaludin Rumi,

 

Use This Gratitude Meditation And You’ll Feel… Magical!

There are some powerful meditations for gratitude that I and my meditation students find particularly useful.

One thing that may surprise you about these mindful-gratitude techniques is that they don’t just focus on the positive. They intentionally bring to mind the negative.

It is important to connect negatives with positives in order to get a healthy perspective on life. The ultimate goal is to be thankful for experiences that we may generally consider negative, because in truth we should be thankful for the fullness of existence.

 

Gratitude Meditation Step 1

In Buddhist temples that I have visited, there is a prayer that goes like this:

May I be given the appropriate difficulties so that my heart can truly open with compassion. Click To Tweet

This meditation is based on that prayer.

  1. Sit comfortably with good posture
  2. Take 5 deep breaths through you nose
  3. Softly bring to mind one thing you view as unfortunate
  4. Remind yourself of why it is unfortunate
  5. Mindfully observe the negative feeling associate with the circumstance
  6. Take 5 relaxing breaths
  7. Say to yourself, “Yes, this is unfortunate”
  8. Now find five things about the situation that are actually good
  9. Mindfully observe the positive emotions
  10. Now say, “I am grateful for the fullness of existence”
  11. Spend a few moments contemplating on how good and bad exist in harmony.
  12. Express thanks for the fullness of existence

*If you find that grief or sorrow interfere with this, use my tips for turning painful memories to good ones.

 

Gratitude Meditation Step 2

The next step to developing gratitude is to take a long walk (yay, who doesn’t love a good walk?)

  1. On our walk we will be consciously observing all the things we are thankful for.
  2. Here’s how
  3. Choose somewhere beautiful to walk
  4. Take ten minute just generally walking and relaxing
  5. Be mindful of your environment. Be mindful of the trees, of other people, of animals, of everything
  6. Each time you notice something you like, say “I am grateful for [what it is] because [reason]”. For instance, “I am grateful for the bird song, which reconnects me with nature”

 

 


Augment these gratitude meditations with a gratitude journal

The easiest way to cultivate gratitude is list things you are thankful for. You can choose to do this gradually, by using a journal book, or you can challenge yourself to write a list of 100 things you’re grateful for.

Here are 100 things I’m thankful for (for inspiration)

1)      Being alive in a world of possibilities

2)      Those who fought and died protecting our freedom

3)      Freedom to choose who we want to be

4)      Freedom to choose what we want to do

5)      Everybody who ever smiled at us

6)      Everybody who ever lifted us when we were down

7)      Being able to choose what to do with your time

8)      The ability to work and earn a living

9)      People who are supportive and caring

10)  People who aren’t, who remind you what not to be

11)  Food. The smell of it, the taste of it, the sight of it. YUMMY!

12)  The imagination. It’s the greatest gift we have.

13)  The feeling of the sun on our skin

14)  The sound of rain

15)  The internet that puts us in contact with the world

16)  Our ability to communicate with others

17)  The morning paper that keeps us informed

18)  Pleasant dreams

19)  Video games!

20)  TV

21)  Movies

22)  Poetry

23)  Dancing

24)  Running out in the open

25)  Cheesy uplifting pop music

26)  Christmas comes every single year!

27)  Beauty; in other people, in nature; everywhere.

28)  The ability to make a difference in the world

29)  Democracy

30)  Family

31) Sunrise

32)  Sunset

33)  Sense of sight

34)  Sense of hearing

35)  Sense of touch

36)  A healthy immune system

37)  Our beautiful and complex bodies

38)  Music

39)  The human mind

40)  Inventions that have made society what it is

41)  Animals

42)  Art

43)  Our expressivity

44)  School / Education system

45)  Health care

46)  The sky at night

47)  The feeling of water over your skin

48)  Our propensity for hope

49)  Being able to travel the world

50)  Being able to take days off

51)  Life itself

52)  Cuddles!

53)  Knowing that pain is temporary

54)  Snow

55)  Plants

56)  Hindsight, which makes us wiser every day

57)  Rainbows

58)  Children

59)  The sound of laughter

60)  Memories

61)  Belief

62)  Knowing that we’re never truly alone

63)  Living in a country that strives for justice and fairness

64)  Heating

65)  Air conditioning

66)  The pub

67)  Silence

68)  Literature

69)  The sound of birds singing

70)  Clothing that keeps us warm and comfy

71)  A rich cultural heritage

72)  Architecture

73)  Having photos from around the world a mere click away

74)  Agriculture

75)  The media

76)  Being able to read and write

77)  Charities

78)  Birthdays

79)  Our emotions, good and bad, that keep us feeling alive

80)  Museums

81)  Being able to sing

82)  Blank pages on which to hurl our thoughts and feelings

83)  The ability to choose to think positive

84)  Scientific discoveries that keep society evolving

85)  People who share their memories with us

86)  Our always playful inner child

87)  Language

88)  Our homes

89)  The ability to let your hair down once in a while

90)  Those in public service

91)  Old people who remind us of our history

92)  Young people who carry with them our tomorrow

93)  Being able to fall over and get back up

94)  Knowing there is always love

95)  Knowing that every day is a sacred day for at least someone out there

96)  Being able to switch off and relax when we need to

97)  That pulse of optimism that propels us to act

98)  The possibilities–Not knowing what tomorrow will bring

99)  Knowing you’re special to at least one person

100)Knowing there are people who believe in you

101) The humility to always look at life with a sense of wonder.

 

 

Beware of false gratitude and painful thoughts

When practicing these gratitude meditations you may fall prey to the fake gratitude. This is the attitude in which we lazily think, “Life actually sucks, but I should be grateful anyway”. This is a negative attitude and is not real gratitude.

To counter this false gratitude, get specific.

For instance, if you are trying to be grateful in a relationship, you might notice your mind saying, “My relationship is bad but I should be thankful anyway.” Is you experience this, get specific. Bring to mind things that you generally do love about the relationship, state it explicitly, and give a genuine reason why you are grateful for it.

For instance, when I express gratitude for my father (with whom I had a turbulent relationship and whom I have both negative and positive memories) I might say,

“I am grateful for my father’s hard work, because he fought through alcoholism and maintained a good job, providing for me and giving me positive experiences, and for this I am truly thankful”

This is an example of genuine gratitude in a relationship where there was a lot of pain.

*Obviously some relationships genuinely are bad and it may be time to move on. This is a totally different situation not based on gratitude. Treat these situations differently.

 

 

Quotes about Gratitude —For Inspiration

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust quotes about gratitude

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things humans can do, for each other.” Randy Pausch quotes about gratitude

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” Johannes A. Gaertner quotes about gratitude Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude. – Joseph Wood Krutch quotes about gratitude

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” Beecher, Henry Ward quotes about gratitude Your Beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does!

And that’s how you do gratitude meditation. 

 

 

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Categories: Mind & Emotions

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