Every day, we are all overwhelmed with many challenges to overcome, but very few external stimuli remind us of the positive aspects of our lives. It is up to us to remember that. Fortunately, once you sit down and take the time for a guided gratitude meditation, the list of things for which we are grateful gets longer (and longer). There is a lot of scientific evidence that once you do it consistently, the regular practice of gratitude meditation influences your well-being in more ways than you think.

What’s Stopping You From Being Happy

gratitude meditation for happiness
Happiness is perception.

Do you know people who seem to have everything, a full professional life, an apparently enriching personal life, sufficient financial resources, yet who are tense, anxious and unhappy? And do you know of others who, at least on the surface, have so little and still seem to be fulfilled and happy?

Every day, many people are concerned about what they are missing or about the fear of losing what they have. Real or perceived lack of time, resources, money, health, skills, abilities, energy. Impression or certainty of lack of contacts, control, motivation, pleasure, preparation, support, mastery, success, appreciation, trust, confidence, direction, love, meaning, recognition. All these aspects occupy a large part of their conversations and thoughts.

When our attention is regularly focused on deficiencies, especially when we feel, rightly or wrongly, powerless to do something about them, the stress response cannot fail to occur in our body. It is well known; we become what we consistently pay attention to.

That our attention is focused on lack is not bad in itself, and can even be a driver to motivate us to act. But when this lack is associated with a feeling of helplessness on our part, then the body reacts with anxiety and stress.

See The World With Appreciation And Gratefulness

family at thanks giving table

Perhaps you have already found yourself in this situation during a Thanksgiving meal: someone ends up suggesting that each of the guests express what they are grateful for. The butterflies in your stomach are felt as you search your memory for the thing that will surface to the top of your mind. There is always something that comes to mind – friends, family, cranberry sauce,etc.. But once your turn is over, you remember everything you would have wanted to say. Now you feel it, this outpouring of gratitude for a series of things that had not been imposed on you a few minutes earlier – and it feels great.

Thanksgiving is the embodiment of appreciation and gratitude but making it a daily habit brings its own set of benefits.

Rebecca Shankland, professor at the University of Grenoble-Chambéry and author of the book “Positive Psychology,” says: “People who feel gratitude are more aware of positive life events and retain them more than people who are less grateful. Wich gives them a more positive representation of their social environment and living conditions.”

Bellow, we will show more good reasons to start practicing meditation on gratitude and appreciation regularly this week.

What Is Gratitude Meditation

what is being grateful and thankful

Practicing gratitude meditation is simply becoming aware of all the things and people that you have in your life. IT does not only include the good and positive, but everything.

It is also to fully accept your situation in the present moment, bad or good so that you shed the burden of remorse, guilt, fear, stress, or any negative thoughts that could be holding you down. It is an ancient form of meditation practiced by Buddhist and Tibetan monks. Being stressed and anxious is about focusing on the lack. Practicing gratitude means focusing on abundance.

You might be asking yourself how one can be grateful for an unfortunate event that you had to go through, a person who has hurt you. There are perhaps things in your life that seem awful right now, but if you think about it, you will realize that they provide you with an opportunity to learn and grow. An essential part of gratefulness is to be able to acknowledge these blessings.

Benefits Of Gratitude Meditation

1. The Grateful Are Patient

gratitude meditation is about patience

A recent study which appeared in the journal Emotion, led by Professor of psychology David DeSteno from Northeastern University, shows how cultivating gratitude from the little things of everyday life leads to greater patience and more self-control.

According to the author, this confirms that gratitude is a tool of positive psychology. When you cultivate gratitude in your life, it protects your self-control. In other words, gratitude and appreciation help to resist temptation more often and make the right decisions.

2. It Improves Our Relationship As A Couple

a happy couple

According to a study published in the Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, feeling grateful to your partner – and vice versa – can improve many aspects of your relationship, including feelings of connectivity and overall satisfaction as a couple. “Having a partner who is grateful to you or you are grateful to each other; both can help your love life,” says Emma Seppälä, a happiness researcher at Stanford and Yale Universities and author of “The Happiness Track.”

3. It Drives Well-Being And Encourages To Take Care Of One’s Health

gratitude meditation promotes well-being
Gratitude meditation promotes well-being

In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health, and psychological health, as well as the likelihood of adopting health-promoting behaviors such as exercise or a healthy diet. They found positive correlations between gratitude and each of these behaviors, suggesting that gratitude helps them appreciate and care for their bodies.

4. It Helps You Sleep

being grateful for your day helps you sleep

Research results published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research have shown that feelings of gratitude help people sleep better and longer.
This is most likely because more positive thoughts inundate us before we fall asleep, which can relax the nervous system.

5. It Prevents Unhealthy Eating Habits

meditation keeps you from unhealthy food

“Gratitude renews will,” says Susan Peirce Thompson, an American cognitive scientist specializing in food psychology. Cultivating feelings of gratitude can stimulate your impulse control, help you slow down your meal and make better decisions about your food choices.

6. It Relieves Depression

gratitude relieves depression

Experiences have shown that people who participate in an exercise called the “Three Good Things” exercise, which, as its name suggests, encourages people to think about three good times or things that happened that day, sometimes find overall happiness and mood improvement within a few weeks. Susan Peirce Thompson explains that “If there were a drug that did this, the one that filed the patent would be wealthy. Gratitude is very powerful.”

7. It Extends Happiness

enjoy the moment

Many things, such as a compliment or a very delicious meal, can bring small puffs of happiness to our day. But the instant gratification also goes away quickly, which leaves us with a desire to have more. Gratitude is something that leads to much more lasting forms of happiness because it is not based on this immediate gratification; it is a state of mind.

If you regularly take the time to practice gratitude meditation, you will inevitably see positive results.

How To Practice Gratitude Meditation

The Grateful Mind

The best time we recommend to practice meditations on gratitude is right after you wake up in the morning. But, if you can’t do it at this time, don’t let that stop you, you can actually practice meditation anytime you want. Please read our article “When is the best time to meditate” for more details.

If you are a morning person, you like to jump out of bed fresh and ready for a new day. The best way to start your day is to feel grateful for all the things you will be receiving. We are not talking about a calculated stance of gratitude in which you think about what you can get from the day in return of what you’ll do, but about an authentic appreciation that comes from the heart.

For beginners, the following gratitude meditation script will show you how to switch from a mindless to a mindful and grateful mind and cultivate the calmness and feeling of joy that comes with it.

A Script For Your Daily Meditations On Gratitude

Morning gratitude meditation is quite simple, and it only takes a few minutes. As soon as you wake up, before you even open your eyes, start to appreciate how comfortable your bed is. Feel the soft sheets against your skin and the puffy pillow supporting your head. Silently be thankful for this night of rest and restorative sleep.

As you wake up slowly, bring your attention and consciousness to your body. Be grateful for the eyes that allow you to see, the nose that can smell the delicate aroma of a flower, the ears that hear the songs of birds, and the tongue that allows you to taste delicious foods. Be grateful also for your touch, which gives you the ability to experience so many sensations.

Then feel gratitude for your arms, legs, and muscles that give you movement and strength. Be grateful for your brain for allowing you to think, work and learn.

Just after that, develop your consciousness towards those you love. Maybe someone is sleeping right next to you, or there are other loved ones in the house or apartment you occupy. Fill your heart and mind with appreciation for all those who share your existence and for everything they bring to your life. Grow your appreciation for all the people you know, with whom you interact, and silently thank them for their contribution to everything you experience.

Then move your mind to your living environment. This may include your home, your community, your city, your country, and even the whole planet. Thank them for everything you appreciate. You can also express your gratitude through mental images and feelings that encompass your appreciation rather than specific words.

As you prepare to get out of bed, you say, either silently or aloud, “Thank you for a wonderful day. Today, I will seek opportunities to appreciate the many blessings in my life, knowing that the more I can appreciate what is offered to me, the more new blessings will naturally come without even worrying about them.”

Guided Gratitude Meditation Sessions

Bellow are some hand-picked guided meditation sessions to try.

Other Ways To Cultivate Gratitude

Keep A Journal

Take a small notebook and make it a habit every night before bedtime to write three good things that happened to you during the day. I assure you that you will sleep much better and have an overall better mood.

It can be small things that you usually wouldn’t stop and think about, for example:

  • The fresh feeling right after stepping out of the shower
  • A cup of fresh coffee
  • Good health
  • A comfortable bed
  • Having a good meal
keep a journal

There are times when you might have trouble finding three things you appreciate in your day, and then other times when you can think of more than seven things quickly! But remember this: There is always something in your day to be grateful for.

Thank A Person

Thanking a person will not only make that person happy, but you as well.

In our daily life, we say thank you almost without thinking about it. It is an essential pillar of our education. Saying thank you for a held door or a glass filled at the table is an automatic response.

But beyond the systematic nature, consciously saying thank you and giving it back its meaning, this token of gratitude is rich in benefits. Researchers in psychology have evaluated by several studies its effects on social relationships, our mood, and even physical health!

Being able to show gratitude after receiving help is also being able to accept that you sometimes need help.Saying thank you, therefore, allows us to be open to constructive criticism and advice. And it is essential to improve and move forward in life.

Gratitude also allows us to enter a virtuous circle. The more we say thank you to those around us, the more those people will do the same. The result? This is good for the harmonious development of your relationships, but also for spreading positive waves around you. And if gratitude becomes contagious, what more could you ask for?

There are many ways to say thank you, and one of the most satisfying is to give back.

  • Are you grateful to be healthy? Why not pay a visit to sick people in hospitals, maybe bring some flowers?

  • Grateful for having enough to eat every day? You could get involved with organizations or food banks.

  • Grateful to have a family that supported you all your life? Think about helping some orphans.

Pay Close Attention To What You Say

To feel gratitude, it is essential to pay attention to what you say. Unfortunately, today too many people do not pay attention to the words they use to describe the events in their lives. And it is with such negative behavior that they bathe themselves in extremely harmful energy throughout the day.

Most people get absorbed in their suffering by multiplying their negative emotions with words that are far more negative, such as “I had a horrible day” or “I am not lucky at all.”

But by becoming aware of all these mechanisms, we can quickly shut them off and prevent them from harming us.
It is essential to use language that reduces our negative thoughts and rebalance our moods. What you say can have a significant influence on how you feel, so choose your words wisely.

Mindfulness And Gratitude

When you are fully present at the moment with your mind, you learn to develop acceptance. And acceptance is the basis of everything in our lives, the more we accept external circumstances and the happier we will be in life. Acceptance is the basis of our self-esteem, which directly influences the well-being of our lives. By being aware and intensely present, we learn to accept what is happening in our lives, whether positive or negative. In this way, a deep sense of gratitude is developed.

Buddhist Gratitude Prayers

Buddhism is not a theistic religion, so Buddhists do not pray to a God or an external entity, considering that they have in themselves the nature of Buddha that their spiritual path will lead them to realize.

That said, many Buddhist do pray, which raises the question: to whom? or to what?. For which the answer is that they pray to their selves, both their individual-limited-lifespan self and our larger self of boundless-interbeing.

The Buddhist prayers are not about material gains; they’re about the aspiration to turn our minds toward positive qualities such as compassion, clarity, and joy. They don’t pray for anything, It’s quite the opposite: Buddhist practice is about aspiring to let go of everything.

Those prayers have two fundamental elements:

  • At the individual scale to achieve positive qualities at the highest level to obtain awakening.
  • The ultimate accomplishment of all beings.

Read more about Buddhist prayers here.

Author

Jim Miller

Jim spent his twenties trying tounderstand how our primitive minds get in the way of self-growth. He has a lot of interesting ideas about human psychology that he doesn't hesitate to share when opportunity presents itself.

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Related Articles

Author

Jim Miller

Jim spent his twenties trying tounderstand how our primitive minds get in the way of self-growth. He has a lot of interesting ideas about human psychology that he doesn't hesitate to share when opportunity presents itself.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Be the first to receive the latest articles and exclusive offers on our products directly in your inbox

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*You can unsubscribe any time via the link provided in Newsletter.