Incorporating gratitude into your daily life is a game changer, so many people are singing its praises, talking about what a difference it has made to them. I have at many different times in my life tried to incorporate this habit into my everyday life. Each time I start out with great intentions and every time I last a little longer but I always end up letting it slide. I am hoping that a little guidance from some wise women will be all the inspiration I need to help keep me on track this time.
Iyanla Vanzant in her book One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days And 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength And personal Growths says that you must honour life with gratitude. She defines Gratitude as “The recognition and expression of appreciation for what is. Thanksgiving for what is and what is received. An attitude of acknowledgement.”
She reminds us to be grateful:
- because life is an invaluable gift
- for the miraculous inner workings of your being
- for every experience that has bought you to this day
- for everything you have ever received
She asks you to finish the following sentences in your journal:
- I congratulate myself for being able to express gratitude as it relates to…….
- I recognise that it is difficult to be grateful when…..
- I recognise that I can easily express gratitude when….
- I now realize …..
She also offers the following Gratitude Affirmations and asks you to pick one to remember and work with each morning.
- I am so grateful to be alive
- I am grateful for every gift & ability life affords me
- I am grateful for each & every experience I have had that has made my life what it is today
- I am grateful for the lessons I have learned
- I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more
- I am grateful to be awake
- I am grateful to have a consciousness
- I am grateful that today is the only opportunity I need to live in the fullness of joy, peace & unlimited abundance
- I am so grateful for all that I have received and all that is yet to come.
Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project says that gratitude is important to happiness. Research shows that because we measure ourselves relative to others, our happiness is influenced by whether we compare ourselves to people who are better or worse off. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives, that they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you’re grateful for what you have, you’re not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That in turn then makes it easier to live within your means and also be generous to others. Gratitude fosters forbearance, as its harder to feel disappointed with someone when you’re feeling grateful toward them. Gratitude also connects you to the natural world because one of the easiest things to feel grateful for is the beauty of nature. She suggests using a Happiness Notebook, in which she writes three things she is grateful for each day.
Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy talks about a gratitude journal being an important tool in becoming a happier, more content person. She suggests that you begin today by visiting a good stationery store or a very large bookstore and searching for a beautiful book to use as your gratitude journal, you also might want to look at different coloured inks and pens while you’re there. Make it a pleasant outing and select the prettiest, most inviting book you can find for your gratitude journal, note the fabric or design of the cover, the look and feel of the paper. Decide if you prefer ruled pages or blank. Perhaps you can find one with a ribbon clasp, remember it is in the smallest details that the flavour of life is savoured. Each night before you go to bed write down five things you can be grateful for about that day. Now stick to it for at least two months before you access whether or not consciously giving thanks for each day has made a positive difference to your life.