Thankfulness can be underestimated.
Did you know that thankfulness is a practice that’s been in different cultures for a really long time? Thankfulness is practiced in different spiritual currents like Christianism but others as well. It is also recommended by some physicians because there’s actual science behind it that proves that gratefulness affects your brain in a positive way.
Why am I writing about thankfulness? Because I have underestimated the practice of it for a long time, and it wasn’t until recently that I am disciplining myself to do it in a regular basis because I’ve tasted the benefits of it, not just for my brain, but for my heart.
This lock down time because of the quarantine caused by the corona virus is actually a great moment to put this into practice.
These past months, I kept hearing about gratitude journals, and daily practices of thankfulness in different books, podcasts, etc. And I decided to give this a try. So what I’m talking about is actually setting time apart in my morning or evening before bed to intentionally think about the things I’m grateful for and write them down on a daily basis. I try to find 5 to 10 different things. I write them on a piece of paper. And I do the same the next day, but finding new things every time.
The reason I’m doing it, is because I feel the focus of my heart shift inside of me when I do. And that’s important to me. Out of the heart flows all the issues of life1 so it might as well be important that we take care of what’s inside of it. What happens with gratitude is that the focus of my heart, the things I’m focusing on, change. Those things are there all the time, the things don’t change. But it is where I put my focus that shifts. And this makes the difference on how you will live and experience your days. Blessing may always be around you but It’s up to you to notice it.
If I write a thankful note for my day for 3 months and some extra days, I will write a 100 thankful notes. 100 days would be enough to really train my brain to look for the good things all the time that are around me. Putting in this effort for 100 days will most likely change my default mode of thinking into thankfulness and it won’t be something I have to practice that hard anymore, but something that happens to me daily, because my brain will be trained to think that way. To understand what I’m talking about, think about this like if it was my diet. I make choices daily that make up what I eat. If I repeatedly choose something, either good or bad, it will at some point become habit. For example, when I first started drinking coffee for breakfast, there’s was moment were it became a daily habit and I didn’t need much effort to do it. I still have to make the coffee and drink it, but it takes no real effort, and, at least for me, it actually brings happiness in the morning and I wake up looking forward to this moment of my daily coffee that I love so much. This is the same with any type of food you get yourself used to eating. And it can become the same with a gratefulness habit.
There’s a lot of benefits that happen to your brain and even to your relationships when you practice being thankful (at it is scientifically proven that it creates better relationships when you practice thankfulness). There’s a reward. You will feel it in your heart, and in your brain, which will affect your body in a positive way as well. So basically, your spirit, soul and body are affected by a simple 5 or 10-minute practice of gratefulness.
If you aren’t convinced yet that this is a real thing that will transform you, try writing a thankful note at the end of your day or in the morning for a week or so, daily. See how it feels. See if it makes you feel different or helps you see different. Just give it a try. If you love it (and I’m sure you will), try doing it for a 100 days. Write a 100 thankful notes. This can be really simple things that happen in your day, the people you are thankful for. It just has to be specific, and it has to be a new thing every time. You need to get a bit creative but it will help you see things that you are taking for granted.
Write those 100 thankful notes and you might just create a habit that would not only reward you during those 100 days, but it will actually create a habit inside of you that will change the rest of your life and how you see and experience your days.
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