Gratitude – the single best practice (outside of meditation, of course) that you can do on a daily basis to improve your entire life.
Just think about this for a second. Right now, carefully have a think about one thing that you want more than anything else in the world but don’t have.
Perhaps it’s more money. A relationship. A hobby or a job you actually like.
Some of us crave and thrive from being recognized for our contribution to the world. Maybe it’s vacation you’d do anything for right now.
Approval of ourselves is another popular one and regular commitment to improving this area of our lives is all we really need.
So what is it that’s missing for you? Maybe for you it’s more time for yourself or with your loved ones. Or is it a healthier body or mind or both?
Whatever’s missing, think on it for moment.
Now take note of how you’re feeling.
Be honest and don’t try to push how you feel about not having it away. When you can be honest with yourself, you can be honest with the world. Be honest and allow your emotion in to tell you how it’s feeling. It is the most amazing gift to be able to realize that our emotions are trying to tell us something really important. We try pushing it away, especially if it’s a negative or painful sensation, don’t you agree? Let it surface and let it be.
You may feel anxious with an ache in your belly or chest, emptiness, longing, stress, fear, sadness, frustration, disappointment…
Do you know what these emotions do to you? They make you shrink. They make you fearful. And they make you feel the exact opposite of abundant. They are all based on “not having” or more accurately, “fear of not having or unhappiness at not having.”
If you don’t have ‘it’ now, you may feel afraid of never having it. Or, you may feel unhappy until you have it (thinking that life will be awesome once you have it).
Fear makes you hide. It makes you turn away from opportunities. It prevents you from being innovative or trying alternative approaches. It keeps you stuck.
Unhappiness does the same thing. You don’t have a lot of energy when you’re sad – even if you’re sad about not having. No energy means no action and certainly no power.
You might think that “not having” will motivate you to action, but it rarely does. Or, it will cause you to give up and quit before you reach your goal.
So – when you focus on what’s missing, your repertoire of behaviors shrinks too, and very little gets accomplished.
Enter gratitude. The Number One ‘SURE WAY’ to TRUE happiness.
Now, instead of thinking about what you want but don’t have yet, have a little think about what you actually do have.
What do you already have in your life right now at this moment that your thankful for. Thoughts of what or who make you feel warm and joyful inside?
Your partner, your family, your friends and pets. Your home or kids. Health’s pretty high up there on the list along with abilities, wisdom. talents and experiences.
Music. Rain. Birds. Whatever (there’s no shortage, once you get rolling with this).
How do you feel when you appreciate what you already have?
It’s pretty awesome right? That’s an emotion you created yourself from a thought that you had. It’s got to be one of the best feelings in the world to simply sit and think about what we appreciate in our lives right now. You naturally radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you become aware of all you have rather than focusing on all your have-nots.
Appreciation changes your whole perspective. Your whole world really!
Suddenly you’re more open to opportunities. And ready and willing to act on them.
If you make time for a little gratitude every day you’ll be amazed by the results.
What awesomeness can you INVITE into your life, by being grateful every day for what you already have?
What do you not have, that you can mentally appreciate even before it comes into your life?