Gratitude is an emotion, a state of being, or a dispositional trait, where a person acknowledges the goodness in one’s life and also recognizes that some sources of the goodness can stem from outside of themselves as well.
During my undergraduate and graduate studies in becoming a therapist, we learned that positive psychology focuses on positive thoughts and behaviors which include gratitude and optimism. I’m proud to say that one of my character strengths include being optimistic and having a positive mindset because this enhances my engagement with my relationships in life, builds resilience, and improves my overall well-being. However, this does not come easily to others as some individuals struggle with gratitude and positive thinking.
The need to express gratitude is a powerful and universal human sensation that is beneficial to our emotional and spiritual well-being.
The magnitude of showing gratitude has been linked to improving quality of life as those who are grateful tend to have lower blood pressure, less stress, and more energy. When you are grateful, you demonstrate humility, good manners, build strong relationships and nurture current ones.
What prevents us from having gratitude?
There are two ways of gratitude. It is feeling it and showing it. Often, we are prone to speaking negatively than in positive ways because our minds are wired to think negatively as a form of protection. It is our comfort zone! When we are in this negative mindset, we feel that everything is against us which prevents us from feeling grateful.
Therefore, it is important to have awareness of expressing gratitude for something that someone has done or for overcoming obstacles in life.
When we are too focused on negative thoughts, we forget to be grateful. The more we can release the negative thinking from our minds, the more gratitude we will feel. Being grateful to yourself is the essence of self-love.
It is also essential to stimulate our minds with positive thinking and affirmations, which involves repeatedly reciting a phrase to yourself to strengthen and reinforce the positive thoughts you want to have. Some examples of affirmations would be:
“I am grateful and happy to be who I am.”
“I am grateful for all the experiences and relationships in my life.”
“I am grateful for all the love that surrounds me and happily give it back.”
“I am thankful for the abundance of food on the table and blessed to share it with the people around me.”
Now, you might ask yourself “why and how do affirmations work? I certainly don’t feel great, so what’s the point in saying something I don’t mean?”
Well, have you heard of the phrase “Fake it, till you make it”? That’s right, the same concept applies to affirmations!
Affirmations work because the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. So even though we are saying these phrases out loud, the subconscious mind wants to make truth out of it. The best way to achieve this is while being in a relaxed, hypnotic and meditative state. Affirmations will penetrate your subconscious mind while you’re going to bed or dozing off.
One great tip for affirmations to optimally work at its best is when we put them in the form of a question:
“Why am I so grateful and happy to be who I am?”“How is it that I’m so grateful?””What about today has been better than yesterday?””What challenges did you overcome that you are grateful for?”
Do you feel the difference when asking these questions? When we do this, there is an innate desire for our mind to start figuring out the answers. Even though you may not feel it in this present moment, there must have been a moment in your life when you did experience such feelings.
When you focus on that memory, sit in that moment where the abundance was felt. The beauty of life is the ability to create experiences, memories, and appreciation of all the small things that form a bigger picture in the end.
If you feel stuck in negative thinking and would like to be able to feel more gratitude in your life, Hypnosis in NYC. To continue cultivating gratitude, learn how to meditate at Self Empowered Minds. Self Empowered Minds is here to help you strengthen your mind, empower the positive beliefs you have, and help rebuild new patterns in the brain to support healthier habits. Our services support you in the best way possible so you may fill your life to the brim with love, happiness, family, friends, health, wealth, gratitude, and joy.