The Life Changing Power of Gratitude

The power of gratitude cannot be overstated. Its impact is immense, transcending, healing and an essential part of living a happy and fulfilling life. Gratitude is a power that we all have access to, regardless of who you are, where you are, or what you have. It is quick, easy, and doesn’t cost a cent, yet produces the most profound benefits to our health and quality of life. 

So what is gratitude? 

Gratitude is simply the acknowledgement of the good in life. It is the act of appreciating and seeing the value in all things. We waste so much of our lives waiting for something extraordinary to happen before we can express any sense of gratitude; a raise at work, a new job, a new home, a new car, a holiday, receiving a gift, the start of a new relationship or the birth of a child. And on the other hand, we find it near impossible to express any sense of gratitude when we are going through a hard time. Cultivating a sense of gratitude from the smallest of things, to the grandest, from the ups to the downs, means that we leave no room for anything to be taken for granted.

Living in a state of gratitude not only make us feel good, but the act of expressing gratitude itself has been scientifically linked to an array of health benefits including improved physical and mental health, elevated moods, closer relationships, more life satisfaction, enhanced empathy, better sleep, increased self-esteem, strengthened immunity, and the ability to better navigate through and recover from tough times. 

Before all else, simply waking up to a new day is something we should all be giving thanks for, and yet sadly few of us do. We get so caught up in our external environment, our schedules, our egos, and our emotions, that we don’t take the time to feel grateful for all things that we have right now, in this present moment. Every day we let small things go unnoticed, while magnifying our problems and misfortunes. We spend more time complaining about all the things that are going ‘wrong’ then we do appreciating all of the wonderful things that we have. 

Being grateful doesn’t mean that we are ignorant to the problems or emotions that surface in our lives. But it does mean that we are better equipped to shift our focus and perspective from the things that we don’t have, to the things we do. And when we compare our problems to our blessings, we are able to become more grounded, more present and see that our ‘good’ always outweighs our ‘bad’. 

How to Start a Gratitude Practise

Keep a Gratitude Journal
Start a journal that you will commit to writing down a list of things that you are grateful for daily. When you wake up in the morning, write down a list of all the things that you feel grateful for, and before bed write down a list of things that you noticed and appreciated throughout your day. Commit to this simple practise and see for yourself the changes and shift in mood and mindset that it cultivates.

Don’t just write it, feel it
Its important when writing in our gratitude journal that we really feel the feelings of appreciation. Feeling grateful is a sure way to raise our vibration and shift our point of attraction.

Be Mindful
Being mindful is a great way to cultivate gratitude. When we ‘get out’ of our own heads, we give ourselves the opportunity to become more focused in the here and now. We can start to notice and appreciate things that we might normally overlook; a smile from a stranger, the cool breeze and the morning sun, the beauty of nature, or simply the satisfaction of our morning coffee.

Express Gratitude 
When you practise gratitude, you are more likely to feel happier, and in turn be kinder to others, and when you are kind to others, you feel more grateful. And so by expressing gratitude, being kind or courteous, or doing something kind for somebody, we enable the good-feeling cycle to keep going. There is a term “Helpers High” which refers to the production of the ‘feel good’ hormone, dopamine, which is released when we do something kind for another.

Grow from Adversity
Gratitude allows us to shift our perception and therefore allow us to perceive adversity and struggles as not a negative, but a lesson or an opportunity for growth. We are more likely to see the positive in a negative situation when we are adapt at cultivating a sense of gratitude.

Living with gratitude is simply a shift in mindset. It’s an “I get to” instead of “I have too” attitude. It’s seeing the good in all things, big and small. It’s choosing to see lessons in adversity, instead of being a victim. It’s appreciating all of the things that we often take for granted. Its finding joy in simplicity, seeking out pockets of happiness where we would once overlook.

When we can find gratitude in the simplest of moments, we no longer need to live in anticipation of the next big thing to bring us joy, because we can feel it in every single moment, of every single day.

Limiting Beliefs

“I can’t afford that”
“I don’t deserve that”
“I’m not good enough to do that”
“I don’t have the time for that”
“I want that, but I wouldn’t be able to do it”

What if you were told that you could have, be or do anything you want in life? That you have the absolute control and power over everything that you have in your life now, and everything that you wish to bring into your life? Do you see others living the life you want and think, “Oh but they have this skill” or “They have that money” or “They can do that because they have…”, and “I can’t do that.. I don’t have enough of this… I can’t I can’t I can’t…” What if you knew that the only difference between them, and you, is mindset? Would you feel empowered to know that your thoughts control the outcome of your life experience, or would you feel afraid in the realization that your thoughts are full of limitation, doubt and fear? 

When we become aware of the thoughts and beliefs that we have, we can start to see how we have attracted the life that we are now living. 

From birth we are experiencing and associating, consciously and subconsciously every day. Our experiences and our environments shape our beliefs about every aspect of our lives. These beliefs shape the way that we live our lives and in many cases, they serve to protect us. We rely on our memories to show us what causes pain and what brings pleasure. For example – we know that a flame is hot, and so we act with caution around fire to prevent the pain of being burned. On the other hand, we form limiting beliefs that hold us back from reaching our full potential, and ultimately, our true happiness.  Say you grew up in household where money was scarce, and your father worked incredibly hard to keep food on the table so that you and your siblings didn’t go hungry. And so you grow up believing that you have to work hard for money, or that money is hard to come by, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, money is scarce and you should scrounge and save every penny you get for a rainy day. And so you live a life of financial stress and struggle, working hard to make ends meet, and experiencing rainy day after rainy day, because that is what you have been conditioned to believe and expect. Or lets say your parents go through a messy divorce, you overhear the arguments, you see their hurt, you feel their pain. And so as you grow up and start experiencing relationships of your own, you feel unworthy of love, you keep attracting the same type of unfulfilling relationship which ultimately ends in pain and heartbreak each time. Why? Because you expected and believed that they would, from the memories you experienced as a child, and the beliefs that formed as a result of them. And so you can see how our beliefs end up shaping everything you have and do in your life, all the good, and all the bad.

Now here is where your power lies. When you can identify your limiting beliefs and uncover the situations, experiences or events shaped that belief, then you have the potential to change them. You can literally re-wire your brain by letting go of old beliefs and replacing them with new ones – new beliefs that empower and serve you. When we challenge our old mindset and replace beliefs of lack, fear, doubt, worry and unworthiness, with thoughts of abundance, gratitude, love, confidence and joy, these new beliefs will become your new life experience.  You will propel your life into a new direction and ultimately change the course of your future. Now that you understand the power of our conditioning and the impact of our beliefs on the direction of our life, we can learn how to change them and start living the life that we deserve. Because whether you believe it now or not, you deserve to be living the life you desire.