Every time you can offer gratitude for all that you have been given you are setting the theme of your life. Give thanks for the simple things in life…for the beauty of nature, for the love of a friend, a songbird in the early spring morning, dancing gardens of flowers, the aroma of a home cooked meal, the touch of a child’s hand, the “welcome home” greeting of your pet. Choose to be a grateful person, and you will discover divine surprises knocking on the door of your heart. Mesiter Eckhart said, “if the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice.”
Gratitude expands the heart center. Gratitude is a way of receiving and giving blessings. Gratitude changes your perception of the world around you. Gratitude creates miracles. Expressing gratitude creates a wonderful, sweet humility within your soul. Gratitude says, “there is more to life than I can possible take in at any given moment.”
Gratitude causes me to release my own self-centeredness and reach out to other people in service. Gratitude is the greatest gift we can ever give our selves and others. Gratitude lifts you out of despair and depression. Gratitude and depression just don’t mix well together. I have never seen a truly grateful person complain of being depressed.
Gratitude opens your eyes to the awesome beauty and elegance of nature. Simply saying “thank you” to every flower you behold or to every sunrise or sunset that stirs your inner passion to just ‘be’ will change your life. Try it. Make “thank you” a part of your daily mantra.
Being grateful opens you to a greater sense of happiness than you could ever imagine. In that state of happiness you are more likely to be light-hearted, generous, take better care of your physical body and even motivate you to achieve your personal goals.
Recently scientists are actually doing research on the benefits of practicing gratitude:
• Strengthens immune systems and lowers blood pressure
• Creates higher levels of positive emotions
• Stimulates more joy, optimism and happiness
• Enables more generosity and compassion
• Relieves loneliness and isolation
5 simple ways to expand your gratitude repertory:
1. Choose to be a grateful person: Start the day with a sense of gratitude that you are alive. Gratitude is a way of affirming your own life.
2. Put on your grateful eyes: Look everywhere for reasons to be grateful. It won’t take long, even before you leave your home you can find several things to be grateful for, especially, for the fact that you have a home.
3. Listen for gratitude moments: We often turn on the radio and have it blaring as we drive to work. Turn it off and listen for the bird’s song.
4. Give your voice to these simple words: “thank you”. Say it often even if you aren’t sure you really mean it.
5. Take a gratitude inventory of your life. Write down the things you are grateful for in your home, family, friendships, work, community, spiritual community, and especially in nature.