The benefits of learning how to develop Gratitude have been studied by scientists and theologians. There have been studies documented of the health benefits. We have all likely experienced how it feels to be given words of appreciation by others.
But, exactly HOW does one go about "learning" this skill?
How to Develop Gratitude
Sometimes, it’s so easy to become caught up in the little concerns, that we lose the overall picture.
I’ve found keeping a written gratitude list or being able to instantly make a list in my head of 10 things to be thankful for, almost immediately cheers me up, and helps me focus on the blessings in my life.
As I sit on the porch writing this, I look out on the water, and watch the ducks swim by. My 9-month old son is sleeping snug in his bed, my daughter is playing outside with Daddy, “helping” him wash the truck.
A boat races by on the water. The wind rustles the leaves of the trees. I can hear birds singing close by.
Then the thoughts interrupt...how will this bill get paid? Will it be an easy process to get my daughter into daycare? Where did I put the grocery list I wrote out this morning? Will my mom be ok living on her own…? And on, and on…the internal chatter goes. To quiet the chatter, and get my thoughts back on track, I will compile my Gratitude List. It’s become an effective tool for changing my state from one of anxiety, or excess worry, to one of optimism.
Thankfulness and appreciation inspire feelings of hope, compassion, and love.
After you make your list of ten things to be grateful for, sit quietly for 5 minutes and ask the universe for guidance. If there are particular people that come to mind that are bothering you, send them love.
So, the steps are as follows:
1. Make a list of Ten Things to be Grateful for
2. Sit quietly for five minutes, and ask the universe for guidance
3. Send love to the people who are bothering you.
I’ve found that it is a challenge sometimes, to send love to the people who are bothering me.
If you find it challenging as well, here’s a tip: try just having neutral feelings, instead. Gradually, you will be able to work yourself up to offering them love (and potentially forgiveness for any perceived transgression too!)
You have only peace of mind to risk...and if anything, as you learn how to develop gratitude, it will help to move you forward to the direction of your choosing.
A Gratitude meditation, becoming aware of why we would do reflections of gratitude, and keeping a gratitude journal are other tools and processes to use when learning how to develop gratitude.
You can write every day, or just when the mood strikes about something in particular that you are appreciative of.
When meditating, it helps to set an intention in advance to focus and concentrate your energy towards being appreciative of life in general, or just repeat the word “gratitude” as you meditate, with a feeling of calmness, and appreciation.
You can also meditate using your favourite gratitude quotes.
As we remain in a persistent state of awe at the wonders all around us, we maintain our connection to the Source of all energy, and develop a heart of gratitude.