The Power of Gratitude
Aside from love, gratitude is genuinely the most powerful emotion in the Universe. Being grateful is a simple act that will make the biggest difference. The Law of Attraction is based on expressing gratitude for what you already have.
Because if you can’t be thankful for your current blessings, how will you express thanks for future blessings?
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. Practicing gratitude is as easy as seeing the world (and by extension, your life) in a positive light.
The conscious effort to seek out the good in your everyday life will have a monumental impact on your happiness, spirituality, and overall quality of life.
The world will start to become a more beautiful, vibrant place once we make the choice to practice gratitude.
What to be Grateful For
This cliche rings true: there is always something to be grateful for. And if you are struggling to find something to be grateful for, then you’re probably taking things for granted. Especially modern luxuries that you’ve grown accustomed to.
If you’re experiencing a difficult time in life, that is absolutely okay. Practicing gratitude will quickly change your vibration and give you plenty of “quick wins.”
There are things that may seem obvious to some people that they’re grateful for, such as family and paychecks. But for others, these things are either nonexistent or aren’t positive forces in their lives.
100 Things to be Grateful For
Are you having a hard time finding something to smile about in your life? Here’s a long list of things everyone can be grateful for, regardless of where they are in their journey:
- Clean water at the tap
- A flush toilet
- Clothing that fits
- Blankets on your bed
- Electric lights (electricity in general)
- Your favorite beverage
- Heating and cooling technology
- In-tact shoes and socks
- Doors and windows that lock
- Grocery stores
- Cold (and frozen) food storage
- Appliances to prepare food and drink
- Unlimited information in books and online
- Telephones that connect us
- The shelter you inhabit (house, apartment, vehicle, etc.)
- Plates, glasses, and silverware
- The skills you’ve acquired through life
- Hardwood and/or tiled floors
- Oxygen and fresh air
- All your functioning organs (even if you’re in poor health)
- Dental health and your teeth
- Autumn leaves
- Your most-used electronic device
- Nature sounds
- Your favorite person
- The dinner table
- The shower and tub
- Preferred transportation method
- Travel opportunities
- Plants and gardens
- The couch and armchair
- Games and entertainment
- Soap, sanitizer, and lotion
- Sunshine (even when it’s cloudy)
- The stars and Moon
- Paper, pencils, and art supplies
- Power tools
- Your money (no matter how much you have)
- Your education (no matter how much you have)
- Changing seasons
- Personal safety
- Your favorite animal(s)
- Happy memories
- Jewelry and trinkets
- Modern medicine
- Plush carpet
- A clean environment
- Weather forecasting
- Cameras and photos
- Toys (for kids and adults)
- Career opportunities
- Home décor
- Pollinators (we wouldn’t have food without them)
- Your favorite food
- Intimacy in relationships
- Clocks and keeping time
- Modern scientific discoveries
- Eyeglasses (sun and prescription)
- Human history
- Family and children
- Gift giving
- Public services (trash, plows, etc.)
- Help from others
- Hugs and kisses
- Your five senses
- Mail delivery
- New ideas and imagination
- Your genetics (race, physical traits, ancestors, etc.)
- Sleeping and dreaming
- Natural resources
- Critical reasoning
- Modern technology
- Candles, incense, bonfires
- Our long life expectancy
- The lessons you’ve learned through life
Notice how I didn’t even include anything spiritual on this list. Simply things that are either tangible or easily recognizable within your mind.
The more you practice gratitude, the easier it gets and the more creative you can be!
Mindfulness and Gratitude
Mindfulness and gratitude are complementary practices. Mindfulness teaches us to recognize and accept this present moment exactly as it is. This naturally feeds into gratitude, which is appreciating all this moment has to offer.
Gratitude is about accepting exactly what’s in front of us, just as it is. As soon as we let the ego develop an opinion, we are no longer as grateful as we could be (even if the opinion appears to be a “good” one).
When we identify something or someone as “good” or “bad,” we create boundaries and expectations, which takes us out of the present moment.
Practicing gratitude is much easier when we remove judgement from the equation, which is what mindfulness teaches us to do.
Remember that mindfulness will never teach you to ignore feelings that aren’t perceived as “positive.” Instead, we hold space for all emotions, allowing ourselves to really feel all those feels.
Experiencing negative feelings and situations is inevitable. Life wouldn’t be fully lived if everything went perfectly and nothing bad ever happened. That’s why our souls chose to reincarnate here on Earth right now! That’s part of the human experience.
Those hard times are something we wanted to experience for the purpose of soul growth. If we have a strong sense of gratitude and mindfulness during the difficult times, we’ll come out the other side much stronger and wiser.
The same is true for positive feelings and situations. Life wouldn’t be fully lived if everything went poorly and nothing good ever happened. This is just one of the many ways universal balance manifests itself.
Our happiest experiences make up for every bit of pain we’ve ever felt because positivity will always trump negativity. Everyone will go through dark times, but that doesn’t mean we were never meant to live in the light.
Expressing your gratitude via journal writing is a fantastic way to start. Especially if you find yourself facing a difficult time (mentally and spiritually). There are lots of ways to practice gratitude.
You can also make a gratitude board. Every day, put up a new picture or write something on a post-it that represents something that brought you joy that day. I’ve seen people go through incredible life transformations using this technique.
Alternatively, you can set aside time each night to discuss positive things that happened during the day with the members of your household. This is especially wonderful to do with kids and teenagers.
You can also simply exist in the energy of gratitude every day. Do this by simply saying “thank you,” more often. You would be surprised at how impactful this short sentence can be, both for you and for whoever you’re thanking.
You can also thank the Universe. The first thing I say every morning when my alarm goes off is “Thank you!” If I sit down to pray or meditate, and I am not sure exactly what mantra to say or what to pray for, I simply say “thank you.”
Be sure to really feel the gratitude in your bones. Allow yourself to soak it all up. It won’t take long before you start to feel happier and life starts to get easier. It’s truly a miracle emotion!
How to Not Be Negative
As we just discussed, never being negative isn’t possible. However, getting stuck in perpetual negativity isn’t doing you any good.
Some people are naturally more pessimistic than others, and that’s okay! There is a difference between your perception of the world, and being unable to feel positivity.
As humans, we have the natural tendency to lean more towards the negative side. Not our fault, that’s just how humans are hard-wired. If we aren’t careful, we can get swept up in a wave of negativity so quickly that we feel as if we don’t have the choice.
But that’s not true at all, thankfully! At any given moment, we have the choice to stop clinging to negativity and instead embrace positivity.
The deeper your dependence on negativity, the more impossible it will seem to escape it. But that is exactly when you know it’s time for some big changes.
If you genuinely wish to shift your outlook, then you must be committed to bringing positivity into your daily life. Be careful not to fall into the trap of toxic positivity, which is basically the exact opposite of being stuck in negativity.
I will remind you again–the goal of our mindfulness practice is to hold space for all emotions. Gratitude comes when we appreciate all the emotions, no matter how they feel to us.
Something that might be helpful right at the beginning is to catch your negative thoughts in the act, and immediately counteract them with the opposite, positive thought. This is a great technique to use if being positive and grateful are foreign concepts for you.
Eventually though, it will be time to get to the root of the negativity that’s preventing you from feeling grateful for all you have. Consider asking yourself these questions:
- What are my life expectations?
- Who is influencing my thoughts and actions?
- Do I believe in myself?
The voice in your head is the voice of the ego. And the ego will almost always be negative, mean, and critical. This voice isn’t really you. You are the soul behind the voice. The ego is just the manifestation of our survival instincts.
No matter how dark life seems to get, there is always something to be grateful for. Even if you are very unhappy in your current situation, make the choice to see the many blessings you have.
Refer back to the list I just gave you. Being grateful for the littlest things makes the biggest impact.
There will be times where gratitude seems more obvious. Think of major life events, goals being achieved, big gifts, etc. Expressing gratitude in these moments will be easier if you’re already used to expressing gratitude in the mundane moments.
Hopefully now you have some tools and ideas that will help you weave more gratitude into your life. Hay House, founded by Louise Hay, created an excellent book titled Gratitude: A Way of Life if you would like to dive deeper on this important topic.
No matter what your past looks like, be grateful for all you’ve experienced so far. Appreciate what you have, and fully accept this moment for exactly what it is. Look towards the future and be grateful for all the opportunities ahead of you.