Get Lost in Gratitude
Like attracts like.
Have you ever had a negative thought about something, which turned into another, and then another? A snowball effect of negative thoughts shifts your mood, and now all of the sudden you find yourself irritated, anxious, irritable and short tempered. This negative mood might last all day. The compounding thoughts make the situations of your day annoying and inconvenient, and suddenly everything seems to go wrong. “It’s just one of those days!” I’m sure you’ve heard yourself say this before. If these emotions and thoughts are strong enough, and you continue to allow negative thoughts to pile up and overflow without course correcting, the negative mood will carry over into the next day. A couple of bad days turns into a bad week, then several weeks. Soon you’ve had a bad month and you begin to change as a person.
If this above scenario can occur from one bad thought snowballing out of control, the scenario can happen (but with the opposite effect of happiness and euphoria) from one thought of gratitude. Gratitude is the antidote to negativity. One positive thought of gratitude can easily become two, then three, and multiply so extensively that soon you find yourself feeling uplifted, joyful, and unbothered by the little inconveniences of the day. Continuing this energy with daily practice of gratitude will carry over to the next day. Days become weeks, weeks become months. Your character begins to change, the chemistry of your brain begins to change, and even the makeup of your DNA begins to change for the better.
I have found that even on days when I am in an overall good mood, if I take 10 minutes to consciously focus on what I am grateful for, I continue the rest of my day in a state of utter bliss and weightlessness. Why feel down and irritable when you can help yourself feel better? Why just feel good when you can bask in joy? Everything in life begins to take a new form and you marvel at life with joy. The real magic happens when we are in a state of gratitude all day long, we attract more situations and events to us that will enhance our gratitude further. We attract more ease, more flow, more convenience, more love, more joyful people.
Like attracts like.
Here are my tips for getting into a state of gratitude staying there, and how to ground yourself in gratitude from the very start of your day.
Get into Gratitude:
- Journal about ONE thing you are thankful for. Why are you thankful for it? How has it added joy to your life? What would your life be like without it?
- Meditate. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Close your eyes, take three deep and slow breaths, focusing on the flow of air into and out of your lungs. Start thinking about what you are thankful for in your life. Spend a few seconds on each thing, acknowledge it with a smile, and move on to the next. How many things can you acknowledge in just 10 minutes?
- Turn negativity into gratitude. If you find yourself in an irritable mood, pause for a moment and take a few deep breaths. What is one positive aspect of the thing or topic bothering you? Or, change the topic in your mind completely. Shift focus to something pleasing. What is one thing going well for you at this moment? Think about that one thing, allowing your mind to find another thing going well - let the positive thoughts snowball. Continually shift your focus back to the positive topic or thing to be grateful for. Correct yourself as much as possible.
Staying in Gratitude
- Mindfulness. You have to practice being mindful of your own thoughts. This requires presence and alertness. You can’t be on autopilot. Check in with yourself throughout the day asking: How do I feel? What have my thoughts been like for the last hour or so? How could I improve my thoughts? Which thoughts feel better than the ones I’ve been thinking? From here, course correct and get back into gratitude by shifting your focus back on pleasing thoughts.
- Project your gratitude on someone else. You can project your attitude of gratitude on someone else and help spread it into your environment and community. Doing this amplifies your state of being to a higher level and reinforces feelings of gratitude, love, joy and compassion. Practice this by complimenting someone genuinely. Do a random act of kindness. Go out of your way to do a favor for a loved one. Donate to a cause you are passionate about. Give to the poor and needy. Send someone a message that you are thinking about them and hope they are well.
How to Align to Gratitude First thing in the Morning
- Set your alarm for 15-20 minutes earlier. Make sure you are the first and only person awake in your home for at least the first 20 minutes of the day. The point of this is to have no distractions whatsoever.
- Use the tips in the “Getting into Gratitude Section” during this first 20 minutes of the day. Meditate, journal, sit in silence with your eyes closed, read something uplifting.
- Do NOT look at your phone or check notifications, social media, news, etc for as long as possible, but at least until your 20 minute grounding in gratitude practice is complete.
- Set the intention in your mind at the end of your practice to be in a state of gratitude as much as possible during the day. Set the intention to be in a state of flow and ease. (if you have any positive self-talk mantras you like to verbalize, now would be the time). There will be imperfection in the day. There will be states of negativity and irritability, but have compassion for yourself and simply course correct throughout the day.