We're at the end of another year! Many feelings can crop up at times like these. Negative emotions like Regret, envy and anger as well as the good ones like joy, peace and love. The one important feeling that we need to practice on the most is Gratitude. This should constantly be running through the background of our minds. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings leads to lots of practice in changing our thought patterns.
Here are 4 practices from Mindful magazine to Foster Gratitude:
Four Practices to Foster Gratitude
Changing your thought pattern isn’t easy. If you find yourself triggered by a negative event, stuck in a negative thought loop, or unsure how to begin, try some of the following tips:
1) Keep a gratitude journal. Each night before you go to bed, take a moment to write down three things that made you feel grateful throughout the day. Robert Emmons’ research demonstrates that keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy.
2) Set an intention to pay attention. Take time to acknowledge all the encounters that make you feel grateful.
3) Engage a family discussion. If you are a parent with teens, start a family
conversation by asking: What obstacles are you facing? Or, share a time when you were open to a new experience and you benefited from it. Having your family members express their present moment experiences can help set the stage for more connection, appreciation, and compassion.
4) Start a class discussion. If you’re an educator, gather your students in a circle and ask them to think about 10 things they’re grateful for. After a few moments of reflection, engage them in a structured discussion by asking: “Share one person that you are grateful for in your life and why.” Student-driven conversations can help build an appreciation for their diverse experiences as well as their common humanity. **
It may not come easy at first, but the more you express your thanks and gratitude on a daily basis the more natural it becomes. So even if it feels forced, stick with it and commit! Trust me, nothing can stop the flow of life and apparently it has joy, suffering, delight and happiness.