Nora was at an all time low. Her entire life had come to a screeching halt with the stress of work, and her father had been in the hospital all week with heart issues. After her last counseling session, she decided to try holistic healing. The practitioner assigned Nora some homework, declaring that it should be performed nightly. Reluctantly, she sat down in the grass in the backyard…
Gratitude is not the physical act of thanking someone or something, but rather a feeling established deep within yourself, and motivated intrinsically to combat negative emotions. However, in Nora’s case (and for many others), it can be more useful to actually allocate structured time for gratitude. This helps decrease the risk of depression by conscious appreciation for the world, and will help you notice average things so that you can give thanks in the moment. That moment becomes several, and you may eventually become a person who lives their life in gratitude. This is an investment in your own spiritual health, and will be returned to you ten times over throughout life.
Some good techniques for taking personal time for gratitude can be found in this Berkeley article, which follows a real study and its results from a well-respected university. Start by finding a comfortable spot and focusing on deep breathing. As your heart rate slows, reflect on every moment that made you smile throughout the day, highlighting parts that serve your YOUnique Journey most. Maybe that’s social moments, or maybe physical moments – regardless, this gives you a strategy for self-improvement. This can be difficult at first, because your logical mind will naturally want to snap back to the negative realities of the world. Draw strength from your spirit, and focus your mind on the positive.
As you come away from your meditation, it can be helpful to use a journal to remember the moments you appreciated. Select three and write them down, along with any other self-discoveries you may have had during your meditation. This is a proven technique focusing on the traditions of self-reflection and showing appreciation[ for the world.
. . . Nora arose, feeling more at ease after focusing on all that she had to be thankful for on this day. She strolled inside, lightened by the healing power of gratitude.
Start the year off right, and continue to be thankful for all of the world’s treasures.