Gratitude is appreciating all good things in your life – big or small.
And gratitude can have a profound effect on your physical and mental emotional healing!
For instance, a simple “hello” text from a friend or having a co-worker help you meet a big deadline. As we learn in Ayurveda, gratitude helps balance excess accumulation of the biological humors (doshas) by bringing in opposite qualities.
Ayurveda 101: Opposites Bring Balance
Exploring the uplifting qualities of gratefulness is a natural remedy to cleanse your mind of the heavy thoughts and emotions that often burden us. In addition, when we experience gratitude, we have a greater capability to express gratitude. And, studies have shown being grateful leads to better well-being (including reduced insomnia, more energy and a clearer mind).
Be the change you wish to see in the world….
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Gratitude shifts attention away from undesirable thoughts because it changes your mindset. When observing gratefulness, you use fewer negative words.
Once your blessings are given space, lightness enters, which removes the heaviness your mind may carry. You make decisions with more certainty and with less self-doubt.
Gratitude Brings Joy to Everyone
We can journal, write a letter, or state what we are thankful for out loud. As we practice gratitude, we receive “feel good” emotions like love, compassion, empathy. Those feelings encourage us to do things for others, which lets them experience gratitude as well.
We express appreciation through our hearts as we experience gratefulness.
In my own experience, gratitude has changed how I approach different situations. For instance, after an argument with my significant other, I stated how thankful I was for his perspective. This changed our disagreement into a conversation where I felt calm and open. Also, writing what I am thankful for each morning eliminates anxious feelings I have about all the things that need to get done.
The Science of Gratitude
Research has shown the effect gratitude has on the brain and overall health. In a study where, over the course of ten weeks, participants were asked to write up to five things they were thankful for. Following the 10-week period, they reported fewer physical complaints such as aches and pain. They also noted an improvement in the amount of sleep quality of their sleep. Participants also “felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic regarding their expectations for the upcoming week”. (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
Gratitude is Cost-Effective Natural Healing!
Try this easy Gratitude Practice….
- Start with one thing you appreciate in your life. It could be your comfortable bed, a hot cup of tea, or the meal you are about to enjoy; it really is that simple.
- Write it down and note how you feel. You may feel inspired, encouraged, or nothing at all.
- Practice gratitude free of expectations, judgment and anticipation. Remember, opposites bring balance.
- Do this for two weeks and then each day, add more things you are grateful for.
- If you want to really challenge yourself, try this for 10 weeks.
- As you review your journal, I think you will notice and feel the difference.
Gratitude is a simple and transformational habit to include in your daily practice.
Consistency is key to lasting benefits and greater well-being. Your mind will be clear and your heart will be full. As the habit of gratitude grows, you will discover how much love and support you have in your life!
Be grateful, be well……
Deb is an enthusiastic student of Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation. She enjoys writing articles to deepen her knowledge when she is not parenting two new puppies.