Well… I’m not sure it’s never been told before. In fact, I’m sure it has, but maybe not in the way I’m going to lay it out for you today. The secret is something that will turn everything upside down. It’s sneaky in its prowess to change your life for the better. It will steal all of the grey, bleakness you have decided life has to offer you and turn it into a technicolor dream rivaling Dorothy’s trip over the rainbow to Oz.
What is it? Gratitude, silly. Yup. I wish I had another name for it, as Gratitude is such a buzz word lately that I think people just automatically post something to social media and throw out there… #gratitude #thankful. Yeah, yeah – we got it, your life is great and you are grateful. But, did you practice the gratitude?
Something different happens when you put in the time. When you sit up and look around, take a focused breath into this space and open your eyes to this wildly abundant Universe that is always matching your energy and giving you exactly what you’ve been asking for.
And, I know some of you are thinking, Tori, I did NOT ask to get a flat tire this morning. Or, to run out of coffee. Or, be up all night worried about A, B, and C, or with a sick child/puppy/husband/cat/parakeet. But, in some way you have asked for these things. Or, you sincerely need the lesson that these situations provide. Which can be tricky to contemplate, don't you think?
We are forever aligning ourselves with everything we are attracting into our life. (But, before we take a deep dive into gratitude, know that this is a Universe of opposites. You have to have some days that simply suck, to have days you can appreciate. How would you know ‘good’, if you never experienced ‘bad.’) And the quickest way to up the anty and create a life you love and feel proud to call yours, is to practice gratitude.
Recently there was a study done at Harvard Medical School on gratitude:
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
Super cool, right? So, here are some of my favorite ways to practice gratitude because it is way more than a hashtag, people.
- When I fall out of a yoga posture or things don’t go my way on the mat, I smile and whisper, “Thank you,” to my body for being able to achieve what it CAN achieve in that moment. No matter who you are or how long you’ve been practicing there are people out there that would give anything to be able to do what you can do within your practice. Your time on the mat is the perfect time to practice gratitude for your body, your life, and your breath.
- Write a hand-written thank you note. It takes two seconds and doesn’t even have to be in cursive. Putting pen to paper is way different than shooting off an email. In this day and age, to properly thank someone for something specific and true is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day. And when you take the time to give to others, the positive energy that comes back to you is like nothing else.
- Have a rampage of gratitude. This comes from Abraham-Hicks. (If you haven’t read their stuff yet, get to it!) When things are less than great, take the time to come up with a brainstorm of things to be grateful for. It will automatically shift your mood and calm your nerves. I do this every time I have insomnia, or if I’m stuck in a long line at the store, or I’m running late for something, or if I’m having one those dreary, teary kind of days. Instead of lying, or standing there worrying about everything that can go wrong in this one true life I’ve been given, I take the time to practice gratitude. It is the ultimate pick-me-up.
On the Mat Tribe, what’s your favorite way to practice gratitude? The best discussions happen over on the Facebook Page. Join in on the comment section and let us all hear your thoughts on this post today.
And, for my friends in the USA… Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday, but keep the Gratitude Train running all year long.
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