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The 7 Greatest Exercises that will Start your Gratitude Practice in 7 Days

// Mindfulness in Daily Life //

Gratitude is the conscious appreciation for what we have received, besides being tangible or intangible. This exercise of feeling thankful connects us with something else outside ourselves, often transcendent, and larger than us.

The practice of gratitude brings contentment to our hearts because it makes us aware of all the positive things that we have, and most of the time are taken for granted or overlooked. A recent study from Harvard University about gratitude stated that this practice is related to ”greater happiness : It helps people to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”.

Gratitude can flow when we can move from a self-centred point of view. It brings awareness of all the interconnections that have made possible the miracle of our lives. Just take a moment and think about how much outside you has been necessary for every moment of your life being the way it is; how much has been involved in you having a good night’s rest, in you waking up on time, or being able to prepare your food. All the labour, intentions and existence of an uncountable number of people from the past and the present, all the chemical reactions, that contributes towards each moment of your life to be the way it is.

Gratitude can be cultivated, and in very easy ways. Here you have 7 different exercises to strengthen the muscle of gratitude. You can practice each one day of the week, starting with the first practice again on day eight.

  1. Keep a journal. Write in it three different things you are grateful for. Be very specific. Start with” I am grateful for” …or ”I am thankful for”… Big or small things, all of them count.
  2. Remember one past experience, which could have been unpleasant, and discover how it had helped to shape you into who you are. Bring gratitude for that.
  3. Express gratitude. Bring to your mind a person you are thankful for. Contact that person and verbally express your gratitude.
  4. Bring mindful awareness. Exercise awareness towards the small gifts that are present in your life throughout the day. Treasure them while connecting meaningfully with your heart.
  5. Give a smile of gratitude to each person that brought good things to you. Smile with gratitude to nature for the beauty that you find in it.
  6. Take a  gratitude walk with mindfulness. Start observing the things around you as you walk. Take it all in. Bring awareness to what your senses report back to you : smells, sounds, images, and sensations on your skin and  your feet. Be truly thankful for the sensorial experiences.
  7. Write thank you notes and leave them for others at work, in a parking lot, at the neighbour’s door, without expecting any reply.

Different studies show the practice of Gratitude can potentially  improve your physical, emotional, mental and social life . 

People who practice gratitude describe that they feel an improvement in their wellbeing and happiness; have fewer physical symptoms of illness, become more resilient and with a more positive attitude towards life.

Building the capacity for gratitude is just a matter of practice so, let it start !

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