What is Gratitude & How To Practice It
Practicing daily gratitude is a simple way to live a more fulfilling and happy life. But what is gratitude exactly? And how can it impact us? And most importantly, how do we go about incorporating it into our lives?
Put simply, gratitude is appreciating the good things in life. It’s being grateful for the things that come to you, the things you achieve, and the things that are given to you by others. And of course, by ‘things’, we don’t mean material possessions, but moments, experiences, and emotions.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are the benefits of practicing gratitude?
“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” Kristin Armstrong
There are so many. Practicing gratitude helps you to appreciate what you have, rather than dwell on what you don’t. It helps to put life into perspective, by focussing on the positive rather than the negative. And it makes us happier by improving relationships, lowering stress levels, increasing optimism, and improving our satisfaction with life. This in turn, naturally impacts our physical and mental health and our general state of wellbeing.
Ask yourself this? Do you remember when you yearned for the things you now have? We are all always evolving and developing but we naturally move onto thinking what’s next rather than stopping to appreciate what we have achieved and/or gained.
The three stages of gratitude
“Be grateful for all of the good things in life and they will expand. Meet the difficulties as gifts. These two things together will help you grow.” Mike Booth, Aura-Soma.
Dr Robert Emmons, author of ‘How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier’ believes there are three stages to gratitude.
1. Recognising what you’re grateful for
2. Acknowledging it
3. Appreciating it
It sounds simple, but it isn’t always.
How can I incorporate daily gratitude into my life?
“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
There are many ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life. We’ve shared some of Aura-Soma’s favorites below, but if we were to choose just one it would be to take the time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for and to write it down. This one simple action will have such a powerful impact on your outlook.
- Every day, think of things you’re grateful for and write them down. Why not start a gratitude diary? We love these tips from Tiny Buddha which include ‘Don’t rush, savor every word’ and ‘Focus on people rather than things’
- Say thank you like you mean it. Think about how you feel when you receive a genuine ‘thank you’ rather than a half-hearted ‘thanks’. People who express true gratitude to friends, family, colleagues and everyone they pass can build much stronger relationships
- Really pay attention to the world around you, absorbing sounds, colours, smells and feelings as you move through your day. You’ll be surprised how much there is to be grateful for when you take the time to look
- Do something nice for someone. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Send someone a letter to let them know you are thinking of them, open a door for a stranger, give up your seat on the bus, or reach out to the friend you haven't spoken to for age
- Compliment someone. You’d be surprised at the difference it will make to someone’s day
- If you find yourself in a negative or stressful situation, try and turn it around. Ask, what can I learn from this?
- Make gratitude part of your family ritual. Saying thank you at the start of a meal (or any other set time) doesn’t have to be linked to religion. It’s simply a way as a family to bond and realise the good in life
- Be kind to yourself. Be grateful for your talents, your strengths, your health. Never focus on what you see as your weaknesses.
How does gratitude link with Aura-Soma?
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward
Connecting with nature’s vibrational life force, Aura‑Soma provides everyone access to a better understanding of themselves. We believe that improved personal consciousness in a time where the world is cluttered with the unconscious, will build momentum for more conscious communities and organizations.
We want to encourage greater cooperation among all beings in the care of each other and the Earth that sustains us. More than anything, our intention is to manifest conscious change on the planet and enable people to be the best version of themselves. And that often starts with gratitude.
If you’d like to find out how Aura-Soma can help you on your path to wellbeing, find your nearest practitioner here.