It’s that time of year again when words of gratitude are on everyone’s lips, along with the food for which we are giving thanks. But did you know that looking for a reason to be thankful every day can change your life for the better?
Being grateful is like sending a huge thank you card to the Universe. And by receiving that gratitude, the Universe is more likely to return the favor again, and again. You can learn how to use this cosmic law to attract positive experiences and abundance to your life.
Practicing gratitude enables us to focus on the things that are going well in our lives rather than what’s gone wrong. And, according to the law of attraction, what we give our attention to is first in line to make itself real in your life. By giving praise, appreciation and thanks, we increase the energy that gives birth to more positive experiences.
Gratitude means different things to different people, but almost everyone agrees it is an especially effective antidote to a host of social, emotional and, sometimes, physical ills.
Recent studies have shown that “thank you” is more than a mere polite phrase. People who consistently practice gratitude have reported great benefits including decreased feelings of isolation and depression, to lowered blood pressure and increased immunity.
People who consistently feel grateful about their life and circumstances—rather than fearful or victimized—experience more joy, optimism and feelings of inclusion. They tend to be more generous, compassionate and empathetic.
Ironically, for some people, it is often the events in life that are the least likely to garner gratitude that move them to its practice. You always realize how grateful you are for someone or something once it has gone from your life. Giving thanks to it calls the experience, and the positive feelings of it, back into your life. Whether they are experiencing heartbreak or a devastating loss, people who understand the energetic magic of gratitude put it into service when life becomes overwhelming.
Giving thanks helps you see the value and opportunities buried in adversity. You may have lost your job, but it gave you more time with your children or your community or even helped you write that song or novel you’ve been wanting time to create for years.
Expressing gratitude fuels the energy that opens your life to endless cosmic resources for manifesting a new reality. Suddenly, you find more things to be happy about, you notice more doors open to opportunity and you become a magnet for positive people and experiences. Here is an easy and fun exercise for expressing gratitude as a way to keep having a life to be thankful for:
Write It Down, Say it Out Loud
Add this practice to your daily routine and watch your life progress from struggles and doubt to daily joy and fulfillment.
Every morning or evening, preferably both, write on a piece of paper what you are grateful for. Sometimes you may resist or feel like nothing particularly good happened to you this day, but just give yourself a moment. The energy behind this universal law is far, far bigger than any problem you may have, so let it flow through your breath and into your mind.
When you are ready, write down at least seven things for which you are grateful. They don’t have to be monumental, little things make life good too. Some days, making the list is easy. “I am grateful that my son came home safe tonight.” Other days, maybe all you can conjure is a soft thank you for the air you breathe. Even if you are feeling very blue, are experiencing troubles or grieving a loss, your gratitude will ferry you to the other side of the problem.
When you’ve written your list, read it aloud, say “thank you” once more, and go on with your day.
This practice will gain momentum as your pages of lists grow. At the end of a week or a month, notice what themes developed in your lists and compare what your life looked like in the beginning with where you are in the present. You just might be pleasantly surprised!