I was reading from a collection of blogs not long ago about becoming mindful of gratitude and how positive this is for your health and well-being. Now I’m not a big one for karma or positive and negative energies or things like this – but with gratitude this is true. It has you thinking positively about things and when you reflect upon what it is you are thankful for there is a physiological response. Your body reacts to gratitude too. So helpful are the effects of your gratitude on your mind and your body upon you that experts beyond religious and philosophical teachers are now convinced that time spent meditating upon those things that you are grateful for and allowing yourself to reflect upon your gratitude is enormously worthwhile.
Now meditation does not have to involve any special costume, or ceremony. Simply a place where you can sit in peace for a few minutes in an alert posture and reflect in a focused way. If you find your thoughts straying – that’s okay too – all you do is bring them back to focus. If sitting doesn’t work for you try a slow walk or standing – but the goal is that you can be alert and not distracted from thought.
To begin with thinking of things they’re grateful for might – to some – feel a bit like Pollyanna’s ‘Glad game’. But it becomes easier if you are not used to it and will feel less of a reach with practice. To others it’s a bit hard to focus oneself on a manageable amount of things to meditate on instead of just churning out a list – either out of a genuine or obliged sense of gratitude. But the point is to reflect on them also. If you need something to help you limit your choices – pick a theme for a day and work with 5 things within that theme.
And so on that note:
5 Things that I am grateful for today:
1. My family. I have a really helpful and supportive family and even though they live all over the place we are in constant contact and any one of them would drop everything if they thought one needed the other. There is trust amongst us and love and fun and we like each other. That’s pretty awesome. My family has seen me through some pretty tough times and I’m extremely grateful for that. It’s not something they expect anything in return for. It’s just family to them. I have a lot to be grateful for in my family.
2. Faith. I have a faith that is new every morning and even though I don’t deserve it I have confidence that there will be peace for me in the end in heaven with God because of Jesus. Even in my darkest hours when I doubt myself I can believe this. For this I am grateful.
3. Sunshine. Today is gorgeous. The sky is beautiful and blue and the sun is bathing my yard all lovely and warm – getting ready for the summer to come. It’s been raining for a lot of the week so with the sun out my flowers are blooming and looking spectacular. When I go outside it will feel beautiful against my skin too. There is so much life sustained and nurtured by the sun. It always puts a life on my mood. I am thankful for a beautiful day.
4. Work. I have a job to go to. After the last 12 months I wasn’t sure that I would. I actually enjoy working. Sure there are parts of my job that I don’t like – but I like the job most of the time. I like to go and earn my own keep. I am grateful that I am able to work in a job that I enjoy and earn the money that I need. I like working with people. I am thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and also for the things that I learn from them.
5. You – my readers. You keep me thinking and looking into what I think about things. I am grateful to you for keeping me on my toes and exploring what is out there for people with depression around the globe. You remind me that I am lucky to live in a country where the government subsidises health care heavily and the standard of education of most of our health workers is good – as is the access to ongoing education. (Not saying that it’s not elsewhere – but grateful that it is here). I am grateful for the interested or curious minds that keep turning up to read what I have to say. You remind me that we can never get too comfortable in what we know and that we should always keep searching to understand more. You, by reading hold me to account to my opinions and knowledge. Because of you, I take my own advice and my health improves as well. This is something to be grateful for.
Todays post was inspired by a post that I found by Katherine http://inspiredeverymoment.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/growing-through-gratitude/