Find Peace of Mind

by Practicing Gratitude

 

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The Sign (courtesy of our fridge door and a carved up Paper Source catalog)

“There is always something to be thankful for,” the sign on our fridge proclaims.

Every time we pass by or open the doors to get something – bam.  There it is, that call to be grateful.

It’s naturally easier to feel appreciative some days than others. Always, though, being thankful makes us feel better by shifting our focus to what’s good in our lives. We stop obsessing about the future, get anchored in the present and experience feelings of relief, courage, optimism and joy.

The process can be as simple as counting your blessings. And the results are immediate.

This makes Practicing Gratitude, our third technique for releasing anxiety and fear, especially attractive. (To learn about the first two, and to listen to the 25 minute guided meditation to reduce anxiety that walks you through all five techniques, please check out the Resources for Success at the end of this post).

 

How to Develop a Gratitude Practice

Here are some ways to develop a posture of gratitude and reap its many rewards:

  1. Think about everything you’ve got going for you. Start with things usually taken for granted- your breath, brain, heart, health, food, shelter. Move on to your blessings. Nurturing relationships, environments, and nature. Your abilities, talents, opportunities, and successes. Try to experience gratitude in your heart, not just your head. Be mindful and meditate on how much abundance there is in your life, how lucky you are.
  2. Notice how good this makes you feel.  Experience your well-being, contentment, and happiness fully. Sense your heart opening, your spirit lifting. Stay connected to the feelings of abundance, blessing, and opportunity. Direct this towards your fear or anxiety. Remind yourself of everything you’ve got going for you. Feel better, reassured and empowered to deal with whatever you’re facing.
  3. Do this regularly.  Make a habit of it.  One way is to develop a morning ritual of writing down 3 things you’re grateful for in a journal. Choose different things every day to keep it from getting rote. This creates a positive frame of mind for the day, along with positive feelings that empower you to live life fully, authentically and courageously. You’ll also develop a record of your blessings, a great perspective shifter and mood changer whenever you find yourself getting negative or fearful.

The process is simple.  The effects are immediate.  And the results are lasting, if you make a habit of doing it.  So start today!  There’s no time like the present.

 

ACTION STEP:

Intentionally practice gratitude on 3 separate occasions during the day. The times can be preset, like first thing in the morning, meals, or bedtime. You can also be spontaneous. There’s no right way to do this – just try to do it consistently for a whole day. This helps reinforce the attitude of gratitude throughout the day and dispels negative thinking.

Then join me for Technique 4 , in which we’ll take a look at how Trusting leads to greater faith, security, and constructive risk taking.  Thanks for joining me!

 

Resources for Success

Earlier posts taught the techniques of Mindfulness Meditation (Technique 1) and Mind Control (Technique 2).

Mindfulness Meditation shows you how to safely feel your emotions and release them so you can have healthy emotional flow. Mind control teaches how to shift your thinking so you can free yourself of distorted thoughts and ultimately feel better faster. If you haven’t read them yet, I encourage you to check them out.

Also, try this accompanying 13 minute guided meditation called Thankfulness, Trust, and Hope. The third in a 3 part meditation series called Let Go of Anxiety and Fear, it teaches spiritual practices that will help you develop a spirit of peace, confidence, and optimism.

To listen, click play below:

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Thankfulness, Trust and Hope – a 13 minute guided meditation by Bea von Watzdorf (www.thebereallife.com)

 

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