5 ways to live in gratitude

Be loving to yourself and others.
Be loving to yourself and others.
Image: 123RF/ HONGQI ZHANG

Many people are thankful for their good health and for a supportive family. However, while we may only shine the light on the good that happens in our lives, cultivating a life of thankfulness also means embracing the lessons learnt in the shadows. Make a spiritual shift into true gratefulness by being conscious of the things that surround you. Here are five practices to initiate this journey.

Live from the heart

The feeling of being grateful first begins in our hearts and manifests itself through the recognition of love, goodness and grace. It is for this reason that gratitude cannot solely be just an attitude of the mind. It is here where our beliefs have manifested themselves into our realities. Start by practising and reciprocating genuine feelings of love, compassion and loving kindness to yourself and towards others and these virtues will become your reality.

Become unconditionally grateful

We are more inclined to be grateful when the things we want to happen in our lives take place. In circumstances that we did not sign-off on or when the people we love bring us pain, it is quite the opposite. By embracing uncomfortable feelings we open ourselves to healing and self-awareness. Choosing not to quickly dismiss uncomfortable feelings will channel you to be more grateful for life’s bumpy lessons and the people who are supporting you.

Shift your attention to bigger things

The greatest blessing of gratitude is being able to retain your inner peace. However, when challenges bring emotions of fear and anxiety, try to shift your attention to bigger and more significant accomplishments that you have achieved, making that obstacle smaller and less important in comparison. Adopting this viewpoint allows for you to have a clearer perspective on what truly matters most and not get sidetracked by the pettiness of life.

Be a gracious receiver

Many people would rather be givers than receivers. However, to give or to receive, you need to open your hands. This signifies our willingness to open our lives to the opportunities that life wants to give us. To practise becoming a receiver, begin with receiving those once uncomfortable compliments and accolades with a pure heart and intention. Gratefulness abounds where there is abundance so don’t stop being a blessing to others, and soon your cup will overflow as you receive more.

Cherish burdens as blessings

Our constant whining about situations and people can hinder us from creating a life centred on gratitude. Say of it in this wa— – whatever we decide is a burden we have disqualified all the possible joy and happiness it may hold for us. And whatever is a blessing, our expectation of it is abundance and grace. With both of these tasks you can either choose to bless or curse yourself. With every moment and in every decision, the power to bless or burden yourself lies with you.

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