The mind is one of the most powerful tools we have. Have you ever had an inconvenience in your day that made you say to yourself, “Wow, that really ruined my day” or even “Today is just a bad day”? If you’re human, I imagine you have. When those phrases enter our thoughts or leave our mouths, it’s hard to get out of the mindset of thinking the whole world is out to get us and we are no longer turned on and definitely not bringing our light to those in our world.
Everything starts with how we think. And with that thought, a chain reaction occurs impacting our lives for better or for worse.
“What we think determines how we feel. What we feel determines how we act. How we act determines the results we get in our lives.”
So how can we ensure our thoughts are unlocking our full potential and reaping the results we desire in our lives? In order to feel better and get more of what we want in life, we must change how we think.
Implementing gratitude as a daily practice is a way to shift those negative thoughts and turn on our lives from the inside out. We start to recognize that although inconveniences are not ideal, they do not signify a bad day or a bad life.
Understanding the elements of gratitude is the first step. There are three elements to gratitude: think, feel, and do.
Thankfulness is the acknowledgment that there are things to be grateful for. Thankfulness is the thinking part of the equation and everything starts with how we think. After thinking thankful thoughts the next step is to write down what you are grateful for. There is power in writing. After listing those things in which we are grateful, keep going. The key to experiencing the full power of gratitude is to move to the next two levels of gratitude: appreciation and generosity. Thankfulness can help you feel better, but it will never change your life until you experience appreciation.
Appreciation occurs when we think thankful thoughts, internalize, AND allow ourselves to truly feel those thankful thoughts. This helps us eliminate those harmful thought cycles we so often get caught up in. The key to appreciation is to pause and take time to ponder those thoughts. Asking yourself, how am I better because of these blessings? Acknowledging the impact those various things have on your day to day life by feeling them is where the shit happens.
Our feelings determine our actions. When we feel do, we are able to experience the power of generosity. Generosity is giving more than people expect and without any expectation of receiving something in return. In order to get to this level of gratitude, we must start with thankfulness and appreciation.
How can we implement gratitude into our lives?
Like most things beneficial to our well-being, making gratitude a part of your life is a process. Implementing a gratitude practice into your daily routine is one way to live intentionally and turn your life on. You will feel better and radiate lite from the inside out.. These practices are a great way to practice self-care. I invite you to take part in a daily gratitude practice for four weeks. As this practice becomes second nature, a shift in perspective will occur, you will see your relationships flourish, and you will feel a deep sense of connection & awareness with the true essence of who you are. If you aren’t sure where to start, I want to offer you a few ideas:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. Gratitude writing is the most effective way to fill our minds with thoughts that make us feel better. Here’s how it works: Write down gratitude, read what you have written out loud so you can hear the words of gratitude. This will then allow you to feel grateful and this is where the shift happens.
- Reach out to someone who has done something kind for you. Express appreciation for their action and how it made you feel. Be specific.
- List three good things that happened to you.
When you start your journey to change your thoughts, words will play an extremely influential role. Words are powerful. The words we write, read, say and hear all have a powerful influence over the thoughts we think. If we want to change the way we think, we need to change the words we are allowing to enter our mind. Looking at this list, you may feel that the task at hand is daunting. When this thought occurs, remind yourself: You are worth the change.