Over the last 30 days, I shared something new each day on my facebook page of what I was grateful for and I was quite surprised at the effect it had.
Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked resources that we all have access to every day. Practicing gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.
I have been practicing gratitude for almost 5 years now, where for 2/3 minutes each morning my first thoughts are to be grateful for a new day and to remind myself of things that I am grateful for. I also maintain a gratitude list on my phone which I update from time to time. If anyone has attended one of my workshops or coaching sessions, you’ll know that gratitude is often one of the first topics I cover because it brings heaps of benefits and it is so easy to do.
So this 30 day gratitude exercise on Facebook was to share the experience with you and to inspire you to practice gratitude as well.
The effects of intensifying my gratitude practice over the last 30 days was so profound that I want to share with you how it made me feel. Here are 6 of the effects that practicing gratitude recently had on me:
1. Help overcome challenges
The last month has been very challenging as I moved apartments and one thing kept on going wrong after another. It’s summer here in Dubai, with high humidity and I travel a lot for work and it has been exhausting. The added pressure with my apartment issues was causing me some stress. However, I found myself just feeling grateful for my challenges because they were actually very fortunate challenges to have!
When we have problems we tend to focus on the problem, we talk about it to our friends, our colleagues and even strangers we meet and then the problem just seems to get bigger. However, by changing the way we look at a problem and focusing more on gratitude it really does help ease the situation.
By being grateful for problems and challenges it also opened my mind to the opportunities that they bring. For example, I had a phone call from my estate agent who told me that while I was away it appeared that another agent had still be showing my new apartment (which I had moved into) to prospective tenants. Rather than being annoyed that this had happened I was quickly grateful that I had been made aware of the situation and saw it as a sign to change the locks!
Similarly, I had a legal issue with my apartment that the landlord needed to take responsibility for. This reminded me that I am also a landlord and I had my own legal responsibilities to also look after as well.
So when something happens that you’re not happy with, be grateful that it has happened and ask yourself “what lesson is this problem going to teach me?”
3. The Law of Attraction
The more I practice gratitude the more I find things to be grateful for. There was just an abundance of things. I remember at one point just walking on the beach at sunset and saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” out loud, I was filled with gratitude for all that was around me. It clearly demonstrates that the more you think of something, the more you attract it into your life.
4. Increased happiness
By focusing my attention to what’s good in the world, I just feel a greater sense of happiness. It doesn’t mean that I deny when things are wrong, I just spend more time acknowledging all the positive things around me. Mindful gratitude helps us to be in the now, to appreciate the present moment in life and also enables us to make more of those lovely moments for others as well. As gratitude grows it gives rise to joy.
5. Feeling Less Lonely
I found myself being very grateful for people around me including colleagues, clients, friends, family and strangers. By being mindful of positive traits and behaviors in others, it made me feel more supported, and that made me want to be even more supportive to others in return. It made me feel safer and less isolated, The day that I posted gratitude for my brother, my heart was filled with so much love just by really noticing his kindness towards me which has always been there, but perhaps not acknowledged as much. Gratitude strengthens relationships that we have with everyone.
6. Increased awareness
Mindfulness and gratitude are very much linked. Practicing gratitude can also be a form of meditation. In moments of silence, I sit and feel gratitude and remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful energy blesses my life every day. This has given me greater attentiveness and made me feel more alert and aware of the beauty of life.
We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. Developing a gratitude practice is one of the easiest ways to improve your satisfaction with life. Give it a go and notice how it makes you feel more energetic, happy, optimistic, alert and determined.
Thank you for sharing this experience with me.