The unexpected power of gratitude

In today’s fast moving world, qualities such as gratitude seem to belong to another age – a simpler time when life moved along at an easier pace and there was time to appreciate everything. Yet within this apparently meek sounding quality there lies a tremendous source of power that can radically reshape the way you look at the world.

What gratitude can do for us:

  • Puts things in perspective: Human beings have this self-defeating propensity to let the bad things in life fill our mental vision and leave no room for the good, a tendency reflected and perpetuated by television and newspapers. Often it takes just one bad thing to happen for us dwell on it and get depressed, no matter how many good things that are happening. In cultivating a daily practice of gratitude, we start to reverse that process and gain a true perspective on life.
  • Lifts us above the ebbs and tides of life: The more you develop the quality of gratitude in your life, you will start feeling grateful even when bad things happen to you, because you will have developed the inner vision to see that good things and bad happenings are nothing but experiences to shape you and make you stronger. Hence you will be able to have piece of mind no matter what the outer circumstances are.
  • Takes us out of our limited ego: As with other practices of self-discovery, your awareness expands and you gradually feel you are part of something much more infinite than your limiting ego and finite mortal frame. Gratitude helps us turn away from self-centredness and realise our place in the universe.
  • Awakens a higher part of our being: Gratitude is primarily a quality felt by the heart centre, that place in the middle of our chest where we can feel our soul, or the essence of our existence. Therefore, when we are consciously grateful, some inmost part of ourselves is awakened and we enter into the higher and nobler realms of our being.

Techniques to cultivate the quality of gratitude:

There are many different techniques to use; the important thing is that they be practised every day, preferably at the same time each day so you can form a habit. Just after you get up in the morning is usually the best time – you aren’t likely to be disturbed, and the peace and serenity you get from the practice benefits you throughout your whole day.

  • Writing down things you are grateful for: This serves as a useful beginning to the other techniques. Each day you can write down seven things that you are truly grateful for, and as you write try to feel that quality inside your heart. When you start writing, you realise how many things there are – from the big things such as the gift of life and friends down to tiny little incidents that happened yesterday such as someone giving you a smile or the chance to spend a few minutes sitting in a park.
  • Expanding the flower of gratitude inside your heart: you can try silently chanting the word gratitude over and over again. Each time you repeat the word you can feel that a tiny flower of gratitude inside your heart is growing and growing, expanding petal by petal.
  • Cultivating inner joy: Joy carries with it the quality of expansion and awareness which gives rise to gratitude. Try breathing in and out and keeping your awareness on the river of breath entering and leaving your body. Feel that when you breathe in, pure inner joy in entering into your heart, and when you breathe out, worry tension and stress are leaving your system.

30 thoughts on “The unexpected power of gratitude”

  1. When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there…in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.
    Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate.
    Conversations with God
    Neale Donald Walsch

  2. its true we choose live this life as it is .thank you my god for let me experience all this light .i would like to express my gratitude becouse many time i fall and many times i rise to breathe once again withouth you my god im nothing thank you once again for the light true light you send me never been without support and faith in you god of all god of light

  3. Commenting about Gratefulness and Gratitude – Have you seen the trailer on the upcoming doug Vermeeren film? (Mr. Vermeeren is the creator of The Opus) The trailer is challenges science and faith one against another in some kind of GRATITUDE EXPERIMENT ( as he cals it. I am agnostic and believe that scientific evidence and fact are far too strong to let airy fair new age mumbo jumbo dictate my life… Good luck with that.

  4. I am sure that sense of gratitude brings joy… that is very important in the spiritual path. Without gratitude towards god, nature and fellowbeings, no pilgrimage can even help to progress. Thats wat I believe…thanks for sharing..
    krish, tiruvannamalai

  5. what a great website, im in recovery and gratitude is a major part of my life. To begin with i learned with just an “attitude of gratitude” then over the years and practise it is now an integral partof my being. Peace to all

  6. Yes gratitude is a great thing, but it can be practiced with those people who really understand the value of person who shows gratitude, and that is happening in west, where as in India, it is just like ” KALE AKSHAR BHES BRBAR” OR ” BHESH KE AA GE BEEN BHAJANA”, i.e. shwoing a colourful flower to blind. In india there is no understanding of give and take, the mentality is reverse, if we show gratitude, other consider our weakness or things foolish of us. Can you help with this to me I have faced this thing and have practiced gratitude with real inner heart feelings with my employees, but they have simply considered as my weakness or foolishness and have completely ignored the art of gratitiude.

  7. Pingback: | The Incredible Power of Gratitude: How to Understand & Develop the Tools of Thankfulness

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