How To Practice Gratitude And Benefit From Its Magic
“Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
This is a famous quote from a famous book, the Bible, Matthew 13:12.
Gratitude is a practice, a skill. It means to retake knowledge of certain things that you are enjoying or you have enjoyed. It is the ability to be aware by choice.
Dear readers of Positive Words Research, I will show you the power and magic of gratitude from the light of two aspects:
1.) How I’ve discovered the power and magic of gratitude
Since 17 years old I write my thoughts. At the beginning I wrote on paper, filling many notebooks. Then I’ve written my thoughts in Word and further on various blogs. After some years I started reading my past writings. I saw that I have written about beautiful things but also a lot about tensioned moments in my life. There were a lot of pages filled with negative emotions such as anger, sadness, even grief, and depression on some pages, disappointment, powerlessness, and even self-hate. While reading these pages written by the younger me, I noticed something. Every time my younger me felt some relief, some light, some hope it was in the moments I was being thankful for something.
On every page full of tension there were one or two sentences where I was saying something like:
- Yes, but I am thankful that I got into faculty;
- Yes, but I am grateful that I have a cat;
- Yes, but I am grateful that I have a job;
- Yes, but I am thankful that I was promoted;
- Yes, but I am grateful that even if I couldn’t spend Christmas with my parents and brother, because of all the arguing and fights in my family, I got to spend a lovely Christmas with the family of my best friend;
I realized that I was practicing gratitude unconsciously. Currently, I am of the opinion that every human being is practicing gratitude to some degree. One can not live a human life without practicing some kind of being grateful. But, you either practice gratitude:
- unconsciously, in a small way or bigger way, depending on your inheritance and education, or;
- consciously, in a small way or bigger way, depending on your awareness and power of choice.
I started practicing gratitude consciously during 2012. The stepping stone in my transition was the book The Magic written by Rhonda Byrne. Through this book Rhonda taught me why gratitude matters and how to practice it.
To make a beautiful note: while practicing some exercises from the book, I’ve arrived on the website TheFreeDictionary.com, clicked on the related words of the word gratitude and discovered the world of positive words. This stepping stone drove me to start making this website, Positive Words Research.
Rhonda starts her book with a quote: “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”. Yes, it is the same quote as above. She says that the meaning of this quote is better understood when you read it like this:
“Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
This makes me think of a Romanian old saying:
“To the ungrateful one, life takes back the gift that was given.”
Gratitude is the land on which all other positive emotions will flourish. To benefit on long-term of positive emotions, practice gratitude.
2.) 5 Examples of how I practice gratitude
- The gratitude rock. I took a small stone that looked interesting to me. I am placing this stone in places where I can easily bump into her: in my pocket, on the table near my bed or near the flowing tap water in my house. Every time I see the gratitude rock I make myself think of something I am grateful for. Sometimes I think of more things I am grateful for in my life.
- The gratitude exercises before falling asleep. After going to sleep and before falling asleep I think of nine things I am grateful for that happened that day: 3 related to myself, 3 related to events during the day and 3 related to the work I do in my job. After remembering all these nine aspects, I choose the best thing that happened to me that day.
- Writing appreciations on paper. I write appreciations and gratitudes on paper for every aspect of my life. I do this exercise especially for the tensioned things in my life. It could be a memory, an event that happened recently or I feel some tension towards a person.
- I bless and thank every object around me. I pick a moment during the day and whatever is around me I say thanks to it.
- While I walk I pick a moment and for every step that I make I say thank you.
In conclusion, I want you to remember two aspects:
1. Practice gratitude for tensioned things in your life; write a list of ten appreciations for the memory, event or person for whom you feel tension;
2. Practice gratitude to benefit on long-term of positive emotions.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
About the Author:
Elena Calin is the person behind Positive Words Research. During 2013 she started researching positive words and begin building this site. You can contact her using the contact form from this website or become friends with her on Facebook.