gratitude

Experiencing gratitude every day.

3 easy ways that will help you to become more mindful in experiencing gratitude every day. By Vicky Richings

Increased awareness of gratitude is thought to have many amazing effects, such as letting us feel more positive emotions, boosting our immune systems and helping us deal with adversity. These practices can help to increase feelings of Santosha (contentment), the second of the Niyamas (observances) found in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Being happy and grateful for what we have can transform our way of thinking and feeling.

Say thank you and mean it

As children we are taught to say please and thank you, and as adults we hopefully still mind our ‘Ps and Qs’, but is this out of habit, or do we really mean it? If someone holds a door open for us or serves us in a shop, is our thank you that follows genuinely heartfelt? We can find that little pop of gratitude multiple times each day by taking a moment to really mean the thank you that can so easily be just a thoughtless utterance. When we mean our thanks, the person receiving it can feel that honest appreciation. Expressing thanks is great for the giver and recipient, so what’s to lose?

Keep a gratitude diary

There are many ways of doing this, from formally writing in a smart notebook or scribbling on any piece of paper that is handy, to making audio notes on your phone.

This is a powerful way of drawing your attention to the things in your life that you are grateful for. It’s so effective and simple. All you need to do is, before bed, note at least 3 things that you are grateful for each day. They can be as simple as the sun shining or having had a lovely cup of tea. Try to find different things every day, even though you may find that some things always appear, my dog features heavily on mine! It has long been noted by psychologists, such as Richard Wiseman, that keeping track of things that make you feel lucky can actually rewire your brain to allow you to notice more of the positive things in your life. It actually improves your luck … magic!

Practice gratitude meditations

Meditation is a great way to enhance our sense of gratitude. If we already have a practice or are new to meditation, sitting with a sense of gratitude is a sure way to grow our awareness of the things we are thankful for. An easy way to add gratitude to any meditation practice is to use the mantra, ‘I am grateful for…’ This allows us to change the object of our gratitude each time we sit. Spending just 5 minutes with this mantra can boost our sense of gratitude and all the good things that come with it.

Try adding these quick and simple practices to your day to let your gratitude flow. You’ll feel luckier and truly appreciate all the good things in your life, both big and small.

Vicky Richings

Vicky Richings, founder of Equanimity Yoga, is an experienced, 500 hour qualified yoga teacher, educator, mentor and YTT tutor.