The practice of gratitude as a tool for connecting us to love and happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Twelve Step Program Practices and long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, as well as a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
Heart Math has shown that when a person holds gratitude in their heart it increases their electromagnetic field 7 to 11 feet in contrast to fear, which shrinks the electromagnetic field. Also The University of Riverside has shown that plants in a green house when compared with other plants in another green house grow significantly taller when there is a daily practice of gratitude toward them.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
The Practice of Gratitude
Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?
The practice of gratitude begins with the Presence Process (practice stilling the mind and opening the heart) Take a moment to look at an object in the room and notice its shape, texture, color, horizontal and vertical lines; forgo any labels or judgements.
1. While looking at the object without judging it also notice places in your body that hold tension (again without judgement).
2. Take a deep breath and as you exhale release the tension in various parts of your body.
3. Do this three times till you are fairly relaxed looking at the object without judgement and without tension in your body.
4. Now look at the object while expanding your vision to a 180 degrees wide angle so you see the object but also see the outer bounders of the room.
5. Now feel your heart opening to hold people, places, and things you love and experience gratitude for what you have in relation to them.
Thoughts Direct Energy and Energy follows Thought.
Dr. Emoto, a Japanese researcher, discovered that distilled water on a dish when frozen after a person focuses on gratitude will display a beautiful Chrystal shape. What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the study of water is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality. By producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to "change its expression."
OTHER WAYS TO PRACTICE LOVE AND GRATITUDE:
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
• Make a daily collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. Instead of saying “I hate it when no one listens to me” say “I love it when people listen to me.” You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
Another way to connect to gratitude and recharge your mind, body and heart is an exercise from Heart Math, To raise your vibration, boost your immune system and benefit your entire body think of someone you love or who loves you and and all the ways you appreciate him or her. Notice exactly what you care about and close your eyes and cross your arms with both your palms pressing against your chest " like pledging to the flag only using both arms." Now think of the person you care about holding and sending them love and being held by them and receiving love. Hold this image of hugging them and visualize sending and receiving love for about 20 second long while slowly breathing in and out love. Heart Math says this is the best way to create coherence and raise and expand your electromagnetic field as well as raise your oxytocin.
About the Author:
Dr. Timothy Ryan, Ph.D. D.Div. is an Ordained Minister and Licensed Pastoral Therapist and Body Mind, Spirit Integration Healer. He is heart-centered and uses his intuitive gifts to remove Blocks (clearing negative subconscious beliefs and limiting emotional patterns out to the body.)
In addition to his intuitive gifts, Dr. Ryan uses a body/mind/spirit approach to counseling that includes the latest research and application of evidenced based approaches for individual and relationship healing. He believes in empowering individuals and couples to learn how to continue in their own healing and gain increasing confidence to trust their inner wisdom. His goal is to support you in a fast track to peace.
Dr. Ryan loves sharing gentle, easy to learn, powerful techniques to help you discover a fast track to Health and Peace of Mind and Personal Relational Healing and Fulfillment.
Dr. Ryan is also the Director and Founder of AIWP, Miracles Ministry. At AIWP we offer scholarships for counseling services as well as professional fee for service sessions. Either way, you will receive professional, compassionate care and support that will help you immediately improve numerous aspects of your life. You will also gain confidence in yourself to become empowered to learn the latest personal and relationship healing and enrichment tools to transform your health, wealth and relationships to go to the next level.