This month I want to explore the meaning of gratitude and I think that you will already be guessing that this post isn’t just about saying thank you. I’ve also included some recommendations on how you can practice daily gratitude.
Up until recently, if someone had asked me what the meaning of gratitude is, I would have told them that it means to be grateful for something and I would roll my eyes as if to say, ‘are you for real?’
The Meaning of Gratitude
The meaning of gratitude is now becoming a way of life for me and hopefully I will be able to explain from a personal perspective why that is so.
If you’re trained to be a Reiki practitioner like I am, one of the five Reiki principles is: –
Show gratitude to every living thing
Innocently, I believed that this meant that I have to try not to kill any more spiders out of fear, which believe it or not I have stuck to thanks to friends and family who will move it out of the way for me, far out of the way!
Life Isn’t Hard with Gratitude
Gratitude is an emotion and a way of life, not just a thankless wordAmanda Norman
If we lose control of our lives to the daily stresses and tensions that life holds for us, we will lose focus of ourselves and our mental health will deteriorate. I am living proof of this with my diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder last year and I’m thinking right now that I hate labelling myself with that term. I’m not suffering anymore, I’m managing and I’m grateful for seeing and experiencing things in my life that I once took for granted.
I’m talking about being grateful for the sun and its warmth and gifts of life and creativity. When was the last time you relished the feel of its warm glow on your face and by this I’m asking you, when did you actually stop what you was doing to actually experience the warmth and enjoy it?
As some of you may know, I’m a keen photographer who plays a lot with dark shadows and how the light falls to create them, but it took a tutor from Warrington, Nicky Price to make me realise that at the time of taking the photograph, I was practicing mindfulness. I never realised the concept of mindfulness until I started my journey, but Nicky’s message is now being taken one step further.
Not only am I grateful for the sun and the power it provides to sustain life, I’m grateful for being alive to experience the magic it provides with its beautiful colours and rays of light. I love listening to the birds singing, I love seeing the vibrant colours of nature all around me and I love listening to the gentle waves lapping the sand. I’m grateful for the air that we breathe and realise how important it is that we need to sustain life’s resources for future generations.
I’ve always said throughout life that it’s important we remember that things could be a lot worse. It’s funny now that I reflect back on this, because what I actually did with this statement was to cause myself more anxiety about the fear of losing what I did have that subsequently was a waste of my time and energy. I should have practiced gratitude.
I do believe that practicing gratitude is a way of life and when I start talking and opening up about my personal journey, I’m surprised at the number of people in my life who already understand the importance of this and practice gratitude daily.
Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Practicing gratitude on a regular basis benefits not just your mental health, but your relationship with yourself, family and friends. You will be a lot more emotionally balanced, because you will have an appreciation for life. You will be full of gratitude for the happiness and joy of life you experience from living it. Don’t waste your time being emotive over the past or fearing the future, live for today and be happy!
I found the above 7 Minute Guided Meditation titled Morning Gratitude from Moments of Magic that I highly recommend you listen to as his words finally put everything into context for me. I do think it would be quite repetitive listening to this meditation every morning, but I find one a fortnight is refreshing. I love the birds singing in the background. (If you click on the image above or on the linked text and purchase it, I will earn a miniscule amount of commission and you’ll be supporting me and my journey with Gemstone and Tarot.)
Daily Gratitude Journal
Kerry Sheree told me about her Daily Gratitude Journal that she uses when times get tough and she’s feeling down. First thing in the morning and last thing at night, she will write just one thing that she is grateful as a way of coping.
I hope this helps you in your journey and if you would like to share any of your ideas, practices then please get in touch.
Please note that I don’t have any qualifications to manage your mental health and I can only offer you general advice from my own experiences. Please consult your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health as they will get you the help you need.