Why We Should Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is an undervalued ticket to personal power and to getting yourself out of feeling stuck in your life.
Let’s start by unpacking what gratitude really is. The dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful. We know feeling thankful for something, whether tangible or intangible, is a conscious and positive emotion.
Trying to feel grateful is something many of us strive for. It’s generally thought of as a virtuous quality, and who doesn’t want to feel a little bit more virtuous, right?!
Before we dive into harnessing the power of practicing gratitude, let’s dispel what gratitude is not. Have you thought that if you’re not appreciative maybe that means you’re greedy, selfish, or never satisfied? Well, it’s not true. You can be ambitious, determined, goal-oriented and have a deep desire for more, and still be grateful for what is.
In fact, this leads to where gratitude becomes a powerhouse practice in leading you to what you desire. Gratitude is the fuel for our boat as you motor toward the life we dream of, the peace and harmony your soul desires, the material and non-material goals you have.
And like the fuel for your dream boat engine, gratitude has the potential to propel you forward – helping you to move out of the muck and weeds that you feel stuck in.
Gratitude shifts your energy, clears out the fog around what is important to you and what you truly value.
“If you focus on repeating wholesome behaviors that nurture your being from the inside out, you will decrease the amount of inner struggle you used to feel daily.” – Yung Pueblo, Lighter
When you feel a sense of wonder and appreciation, even for simple things in your life or world, you are simultaneously allowing for clarity. Moments of gratefulness help you refocus your thoughts from lack to abundance, and when you are feeling into the abundance of the universe is when you are pulling your feet out of the dark negativity quicksand and are able to see light.
“Whenever you are in a state of gratitude and appreciation you are focusing your thoughts and energy on the beauty and abundance that is already present in your life… You are sending a clear message to the universe that this is what you would like to experience more of.” – Jack Canfield, Gratitude: A Daily Journal
Counting your blessings is like striking a match and creating a spark. It’s a transformative and powerful exchange of energy.
In the moments where you lead your mind (and thereby emotional energy) to positive thoughts of appreciation, you are letting go of your focus on other things. i.e., beating yourself up about something you have done; reviewing your lack of self-worth; examining the shortcomings you perceive in yourself… in other words, you are breaking the endless cycle of self-sabotage.
So, if even for a few moments, you can break your old patterns of thinking negatively, you are training your brain to feed you high vibrational, hope-filled, heart-centered, positive thoughts.
Making the choice (and it is a choice) to find ways to feel grateful is like a muscle, it requires flexing and practices to help that muscle grow.
The more you can flex your positivity muscles, through emotions like gratitude, the more empowered you become.
Not only on a surface level, but in a deep, profound, and authentic soul level.
A bit of my story
Yes, it’s true. And I’m proof! The last two years have unfolded extraordinarily difficult challenges for me on a personal level. I watched my mother cognitively and physically decline and held her hand during her last breath. I helped my husband through unexpected open-heart surgery and recovery, in the same month that my youngest left my home, alone, (the dreaded empty nest!) for freshman year at a college fifteen-hundred miles away.
And then a few months later I received news that completely turned my world upside down (which I’m in the middle of right now so I’m not yet prepared to share).
Why share my personal story with you? Because gratitude is one of the powerful practices I use regularly that helps keep me sane! It’s part of what I do to care for my mental health, to keep pushing myself toward my tangible and intangible goals.
Gratitude is a daily go-to when I’m having an extra difficult day, and what I use as I process trauma and emotions to create healing. Deep healing.
As I facilitate my mindset and spiritual life coach work with clients, I use gratitude as one of the teaching points for bringing about clarity and positive shifts in energy.
Yes, there are other facets and tools I use to teach clients how to thrive in the face of adversity, but gratitude and appreciation are foundational to getting unstuck.
“We all have two dogs inside of us. One dog is positive, happy, optimistic, and hopeful. The other dog is negative, mad, pessimistic, and fearful. These two dogs often fight inside us, but guess who wins? The one you feed the most.” – Jon Gordon, The Positive Dog
Shifting out of old patterns
Getting unstuck is the first step to, as the poet Yung Pueblo puts it, “let go of the past, connect with the present, and expand the future.” It’s where the next step of your journey begins.
Using gratitude to shift energy is a practice that helps you pivot away from old patterns of thinking that have kept you feeling powerless, victimized, and making decisions from a place of fear.
“Much like nature, life is very often working in our favor, even when it seems like we are only being faced with adversity, discomfort, and change.” – Brianna Wiest, The Mountain is You
Practicing appreciation is truly that strong of a tool. Getting unstuck through gratitude can open the door to being able to do the bigger work of recognizing your self-destructive patterns, exploring ways to heal the past, cultivating positive lifestyle habits and changing your beliefs about what is possible for you.
For today, I will leave you with my own gratitude for you being here to receive my words and the healing, optimistic energy from which they come. – Marlene
Is it Your Time to Thrive?
I coach women looking for soulful guidance to clear and heal what’s blocking them so they can finally love themselves, live with less fear and anxiety, and chase after their dreams. Your Time to Thrive is a ninety-day healing program that builds self-love, confidence, and optimism. This program combines one-to-one mindset mentorship with reiki healing sessions and personalized intuitive guidance leading to transformative personal growth. Read more here and schedule a free consult call with me to see if this is right for you.
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If you can’t seem to feel better or feel something is blocking you from believing you have purpose, or something you can’t quite pinpoint is preventing you from shifting your mindset and clearing your energy – first, grab my free positive affirmations download above and then consider how distance energy healing with intuitive guidance can help you unblock, heal, and assist you toward the mindset and energy shifts you desire. The shifts that will energize and motivate you to take daily action toward your goals. Connect with me if you have any questions or would like to know more. – Marlene