The Power Of Gratitude - 5 Easy Ways To Be More Grateful Everyday
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Usually, I start my days with a short meditation. Today I went down to a beautiful lake to do it (Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in case you're interested).
When someone else was already there occupying the spot I intended to sit at, my instant thought was: “Shit, why does he have this amazing spot? I want it!”. Nevertheless, I sat down (at a less beautiful spot) with the intention of doing what I initially came for - meditating.
Not surprisingly it went quite awful. As you might guess, approaching something that generally requires calmness and peace with a feeling of jealousy is not the best.
I consistently imagined the guy next to me having a peaceful meditation while I was just sitting there caught up in my unwanted thoughts.
However exactly that was the key to overcome it: Concentrating on the guy.
But instead of focusing on me I focused on him - his state of gratitude and love. Obviously, I didn’t know what was going on inside of him, but I just imagined for myself that it was gratitude and love. Suddenly, I felt very connected to him. I felt joy for him being in that state. In my head it was him feeling love, however in reality it was me feeling it.
The change was incredible. I could feel it in my whole body and suddenly the feeling swapped over to all areas of my life. I felt happy for my best friend at home and that he lives a happy and healthy life. I felt gratitude for my family that can live in peace and prosperity. Basically, I felt gratitude for all human beings. So far, I mostly focused on myself and thinking about things I myself can be grateful for. However, there is a far greater side to it: Feeling gratitude for each and every one of us – universal gratitude.
At the end of my meditation my initial feeling of envy was completely gone. By closing my eyes and feeling genuinely happy for another person.
I learned once more how I can feel much better by “simply” shifting my focus towards gratitude. I put simply in quotation marks because sometimes it is actually not that simple...
However, it is something we can practice. Like soccer or basketball, the more we do it, the easier it will be and the better we will get at it.
In general, I don’t like giving too much advice to people because I am not someone who has it all figured out. I just want to share what helped me to become more grateful on my own journey. So here it goes:
1. Take Time For Yourself
Prioritize things that you really enjoy. This is different for everyone, and it can be all sorts of things. For me taking time for myself starts with waking up. Among other things my morning routine consists of meditating, stretching and Wim-Hof-Breathing.
I always take the time to do that and it gets me started for the day. I prioritize myself every morning.
For you, it can be taking a bubble bath, reading a good book or cooking your favorite meal. Whatever it is, the important part is that you are present while you do it, then gratitude will come naturally.
2. Spend Time In Nature
While taking time for oneself can look quite differently, spending time in nature is universal. We as human beings are innately connected to it. It makes us feel calmer, quieter and more at peace. If you go into nature by yourself and just observe what’s happening around you, it is quite impossible to not be grateful.
When I sit down and look at an old tree or open gras fields, it makes me feel incredibly humble. I feel grateful to experience all that our beautiful Earth has to offer.
3. Connect Habits
Think of things you do every day and add some gratitude to them - during or after you do them.
For example, when I brush my teeth in the evening, I always think of one special moment that day I’m truly grateful for and relive it in my mind. I never forget it since I never forget to brush my teeth. Connecting a habit that you already have with one you want to develop is really powerful, so give it a try.
4. Write It Down
Probably the most practical tip is putting things on paper. Part of my morning practice is 15 - 20 minutes of writing. It gives me a lot of clarity for the day. One part of it is writing down five things I’m grateful for.
If you take the time to do this, your focus will shift in no time. Instead of concentrating on lack and things you are missing, you put your energy into things you already have. Your attention automatically shifts to abundance and prosperity. As I said, the more you do it, the better you get at it and the longer the feeling lasts.
Of course you can write it down on any piece of paper. However if you're looking for a beautifully made book, check out the gratitude-journal of my friend Agne.
5. Look around
All these tips can help you to be more grateful. However, every single moment bears the opportunity to bring gratitude into your life. The more present you go through life, the more you realize that every person we meet, every experience we make, has in it the possibility for beauty and connection.
For example, I used to sit in public transport staring at my phone most of the time. However, when I started to be more present – looking out of the window, watching other passengers –magical things started to happen.
I remember this particular moment a few days ago when a small kid sitting across me looked over to me with so much curiosity in its eyes. It started to smile and I simply smiled back. It completely made my day. Moments like these don’t happen if you don’t open your eyes. So, look around.
Gratitude is infectious! If we go truly grateful through our days, other people will notice. In this article I write about a truly beautiful experience I had on my journey. I was noticing a child playing in the park and its pure joy spilled over to me...
A great side benefit of doing all this is that we will automatically attract more of these things into our lives. Simply because our minds are occupied with the positive instead of the negative and therefore our attention (and energy) goes to those things. But I’ll cover this in more detail in a different article.
Being grateful is one of the most powerful feelings we can have. When we’re truly grateful from the heart, there is no place for negative emotions like fear or anger.
When we’re in a state of gratitude, we are lacking nothing, we are simply whole in the present moment.
We can be grateful for things we already have or for things in the future that we’re already grateful for in this moment. It works in both directions. However, I’ll talk about this another time as well.
For now, I’m truly grateful that you read my blog post! Thank You! And have an amazing day!
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, May 2022
What gives me inspiration...
Wim Hof Breathing is one of many breathing techniques by which we can change our brain chemistry and enter a different state of awareness.
I've been doing it for more than 2 years on a regular basis and it's really crazy how it frees my mind, sometimes I even feel like flying...
Try it yourself by following this 10 min You Tube video from Wim Hof.
I can totally recommend his book The Wim Hof Method if you want to know more about it.
"We have to love ourselves in order to love others." Self-love is crucial for making connections. In this article I write how we love ourselves by simply expressing who we truly are.
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