How To Practice Gratitude

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THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE

For me, gratitude is the hand that places the train back on the track when the wheels become misaligned. Gratitude either recalibrates me or keeps me aligned within the lane I need to be in to accomplish my goals, maintain my health and happiness. When I summon gratitude within myself, I feel a shimmer throughout my body, a glow. I work to maintain that glow. Our minds can be easily influenced on a subconscious level so it is important to maintain a foundation to remain rooted. That foundation is gratitude.

It adjusts your lens so that you aren't looking through a trick scope. You have the power to see things as you desire, and I personally desire to strive towards focusing on the peaks and the things that make my life beautiful. Practicing gratitude, as I wrote in my previous post, is an important element in many of the most successful people on Earth's routine. Gratitude will allow you to open yourself up for an infinite abundance of prosperity. 

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
— Eckhart Tolle

Learning how to practice gratitude can have massive impact on your reality. Gratitude can benefit your health, your emotional state, your personality, your career and social life. When it comes to health, practicing gratitude can improve your sleep, overall longevity, give you energy and decrease doctor visits. Emotionally, gratitude will serve you with happier memories, make you feel less envious of others, allow you to be more relaxed and resilient.

As far as your personality, learning how to practice gratitude will give you more self-esteem, make you more optimistic, less materialistic and self-centered, and more spiritual. Gratitude will benefit your career by improving your decision-making and productivity, increased networking and goal achievement. Socially, gratitude will make you friendlier, improve relationships and marriage, provide you with deeper relationships and more friends. Check out the science behind all of these findings here.

HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Think of three things that you are truly grateful for every single day. I like to continuously run through the things I am grateful for throughout the day because I deal with a deep internal force that wants to pull me down into a pit. I am also on a path to reach my highest potential and purpose in life. When you are on that path, you really must practice gratitude because the force of resistance will appear to make every step more difficult for you. Every morning, as part of my routine, I think of three things that I am grateful for. I do the same before bed. This practice really grounds me. It makes it harder for me to be knocked over my anything that could occur during the day. 

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

— Oprah Winfrey

Having a gratitude journal or daily expression can make you happier. It's such a simple practice that will result in massive change in your life. I have been so uplifted in my life by practicing gratitude. I can't even explain how happy I feel when I tune back in with what actually is around me and truly see how beautiful my world is. You have to realize that no matter where you go, how much you have, or who you are with, there will always be some sort of funk or hurdle that comes along with that life package. Saying these things out loud and writing them down can change your life. The Five Minute Gratitude Journal is a popular choice for many people. It is an interactive workbook which includes prompts that you can write in and fill out. 

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.
— Brene Brown

Do a good thing for someone else. Connecting with others and benefiting their lives in someway is a beautiful way to shine gratitude over your own life. It can be as simple as giving a family member a box of tea or a paying for a sandwich for someone. The energy that you earn from doing something for someone else will spark gratitude in your own life. We can often get stuck in our own minds and stepping out to get back in touch with the Earth and others can be a great service if you are putting out goodness into the environment.

On the topic of getting back in touch with our surroundings, I wanted to share really quickly that I was a nervous wreck when my son got a toddler fracture. I thought the world was just over (it was my first time as a mother dealing with any sort of child injury). When we were at the hospital, in the pediatric area, I overheard in the next room over a child continuously screaming in agony. I didn't know what was going on but I looked over at my son and he was just on the hospital bed calmly spelling words out on his tablet and sipping from his sippy cup. He was absolutely unbothered by his slide mishap. I knew then that I should be overwhelmed with gratitude that my son was actually fine (and I also shot out a quick prayer to the room next door). It really is all about perspective and how we choose to view our situation. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
— Melody Beattie

You can't run from the funk, it will manifest in different ways no matter how far you go in life. You must train and tune your eye to look at the positive. Having a gratitude journal actively helps you train to see through gracious eyes. You can also listen to and repeat gratitude affirmations in addition to writing things down. I love listening to recordings of positive affirmations because it is another tool in my belt that helps me combat the darkness and negativity constantly trying to break me. I have them on in the background when I'm driving, doing dishes, cooking, taking a walk, you name it. 

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GRATITUDE JOURNALING APPS

I always default to paper and pen for many things I do, but I have now learned the glories of apps when it comes to storing and sorting out your mind. There are some amazing gratitude journal apps that you can download right now to start practicing gratitude, drastically increase your reality and happiness, and shift into a version of yourself that exists in the midst success and happiness. I am currently using apps called Simple Gratitude Journal and HappyFeed. 

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
— Robert Brault

The Simple Gratitude Journal app is very simple indeed. The main screen asks you 'What are you grateful for today?' you write your response into the text field and press 'Add'. Below the add button is a list of everything you type with the date to the left of it. It's very minimal and to the point. I scroll down the list and reread my entries and am filled with such overwhelming joy over my life.

HappyFeed is a bit more designed with the date up top and three grayed our smiley faces that illuminate as you enter each one of your three entries. You can also upload a picture that corresponds with your entry. I enjoy this one for that feature as you can move over to another screen and see a feed of the pictures you've uploaded with the written entry above it. I enjoy The Simple Gratitude Journal app for it's simplicity, and the HappyFeed app for it's ability to store photos. 

GRATITUDE AS A MEANS OF SURVIVAL

Learning how to practice gratitude makes me wonder how I could ever have been depressed or angry at any moment with such blessings. But then I get depressed or angry again and remember just how powerful that pull is down to the pit. But the difference now is that when I fall into the pit, gratitude is one of the ropes that helps me pull myself back out. The goal is to look out for yourself and throw down these ropes in advance. We must employ strong tactics of survival to be happy. No one every teaches us these things. We learn seemingly useless geometry equations and questionable historical accounts in school, but no one teaches us how to be human and survive ourselves and everyone else. 

Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.
— Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Another benefit of learning how to practice gratitude is exercising the habit of finding happiness anywhere, at anytime. When you remain grateful for what you have on each level of life you are on, you avoid falling into the loop of infinite yearning. This occurs when you subconsciously keep readjusting the finish line every time you get close to it. You will never, ever reach happiness if you don't stop to identify the aspects of your life at each stage that you are grateful for. 

I am grateful for my life, my health, my children, my husband, my family, my home, my transportation, blue skies, sunshine, the wind in the trees, my purpose, my passions, my skills and talents, God and the favor, protection and blessings that I receive. What are you grateful for?

Margo Theory
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