As a consistent Gratitude practitioner, I have to admit, it was not “love at first sight.” In fact, in the beginning, I couldn’t understand the whole idea. I had this personal perception it was a religious practice. I thought it was an abstract concept. But, little by little I discovered I was wrong. It is far from being abstract, and most importantly everybody can learn it.
First, I would like to ask you, how often do you pause to appreciate what you have?
If you are like the rest of us, the answer is not enough. We tend to focus our attention on things which we lack instead of what we have. And, the beauty we already have passes unnoticed. Gratitude is like a superpower, responsible for strengthening our immune system, enhance optimism, and unlock happiness. When we focused on what we are grateful for, we widen our perspective. On the other hand, when stress and despair catch us, we end up with a tunnel vision which enables us to see only negativity. When we experience wonder, appreciation, and thankfulness our mood changes to happiness, opening our heart.
Gratitude is a habit developable. It takes a little effort, and most importantly patience. Like everything, we cannot become master overnight but, one breath at the time, eventually, it will become easier. First, we should be realistic. The learning process takes time. Personally, when I started, every morning, I seated on my bed, thinking of impressive things to be grateful for, but nothing was coming up. My mind was completely blank. It was frustrating but, then I reminded myself how difficult is to learn a new skill. For example, think when you were learning how to drive. Based on my experience, I admit, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of things I had to do behind the wheel. But, with lots of practice, it became easier, almost automatic. So, if you wish to learn “The Attitude of Gratitude” starts from basics, and all is coming. I did it. I stepped back, and I started from scratch, expressing gratitude to everything I utilized on my morning routine: toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, hair conditioner, etc. If you consider, behind each and every item listed, there is lots of work. In fact, every day millions of people work to make our life easier, and I am grateful to them.
A daily practice of Gratitude enhances our mental and physical health in a multitude of ways. It strengthens our immune system; it releases natural endorphins into our brain cells. And, it works on our blood pressure as well. Never the less, it has the power to help our brain to a biological level. In fact, it releases, naturally, serotonin and dopamine. In medicine, those substances are synthetically created to make antidepressants. But, Gratitude is free and natural. With regular practice, our brain relearns to unveil and develop more positive patterns. And, little by little it starts to look for things to be grateful to feel good.