When was the last time you said "thank you" to your loved ones? In a hectic life, we often take things for granted and allow our ego to stop us from sharing our thanks in everyday situations.
We are simply not trained to express ourselves openly. I am not talking about a casual robotic exchange of thanks, but the feeling within our heart which is true gratitude.
Practice gratitude for a better you and a better world.
Thankfulness can be a rare commodity that people often only express in the context of a big event. However, if we can’t be thankful for the small things, we will never find satisfaction.
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart.
Why is a simple "thank you" so powerful? Simply put, the universe loves people who are thankful. For example, if your friend bakes you a cake and all you can do is complain about the cake's calorie content, then you probably won't have too many more cakes baked for you. However, if you are excited about it, then your friend will feel great, and you may even be getting more cake in the future.
Ok, it's not all about cake, but the point remains: your sweet smile and words of thanks actually make the cake-giver smile too. In this exchange, you've shared in something and encouraged each other.
As Deepak Chopra says, “gratitude is healing. It expands your awareness and shifts your focus from something that’s actually hurting you to something that is healing.” Scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional and physical health.
So, let’s embrace the power of gratitude with these 5 steps!
1. Wake up and say "Thank you."
The moment you open your eyes in the morning, practice saying "thank you." Thank your bed for the comfort. Thank the sun for rising. Thank your heart for beating. Starting your day with gratitude sets a positive tone which leads to higher energy for you to accomplish more with less effort.
2. Keep a gratitude journal.
Write 5 things that you feel grateful for each day. It could be as simple as showing thanks for the air that you breathe. If you end your day with gratitude, it sends the signal to your brain that you love your life. This engineers your mind to register positive thoughts and to store them in your brain while you’re asleep. As a result, you wake up feeling recharged!
3. Be mindful at all times.
When you are mindful, you are aware of what’s happening, and that makes it easier to notice the abundance in your life. Regardless of whether you label the event as good or bad, it is your own perception. There is no good or bad experience, as every experience is a life lesson from which to learn. Be thankful for the blessings.
4. Be creative in your expression.
Placing a muffin on someone’s desk with a thank you note or a surprise visit with flowers is another way to practice gratitude. Expressing your thankfulness allows you to fully experience love and to send the message for others to be grateful too. Imagine the ripple effect of these actions and their possible impact on the world.
5. Be genuine and practice thankfulness for at least 40 days.
Do not do this for the sake of doing it: what matters is your intention. Feel the gratitude and show your thanks sincerely. It takes 21 days to change a habit and 40 days to change a lifetime. Practice and let thankfulness be your new lifestyle.
When we shift our focus, we can expand positivity. By expressing our thanks regularly, we multiply abundance in our life. The most amazing part is that we can’t feel thankful and fearful at the same time. When we express our thanks from our heart, fear dissipates and love emerges.