Like once said in the great movie Forrest Gump “Life is like a box of chocolate’s you never know what you are going to get”. Your own life can sometimes take trivial turns to places you never wished to go. At times life may just downright be tough, but the reason we apply gratitude consistently is to be reminded that you really have a lot to be thankful for. Even if it seem’s like your life is toast, you have more then you consciously realize in those moments of despair. With the addition of a “Daily Gratitude Practice,” you can really start to see how much you actually have to be thankful for. Now, there are quite a few ways to go about expressing your gratitude which in turn reflects back to you over time. Personally, I make this process simple and fun and it really becomes an act of self-love. Below is a process I created to spark some of the most divine moments of clarity in my life. Use them to your advantage and share this with a friend who is open to a new way to alter their own perception of life itself.
Gratitude Hacking 101
- Choose Your Medium of Expression– I like to mix it up based on my location or how I am feeling, but my favorite way to really express my gratitude is to physically write it down on pen & paper. Some days I simply speak out that which I am thankful for, so if your game to sound a crazy person repeating “I am so happy and grateful for my bed”, “I am so happy and grateful for my toothbrush” etc..then have fun because you’ll begin to simultaneously discover the vibrations of different words as well. Also if you are thankful for your tech you can always type it out on your laptop as well. This way is fun too because you can get very descriptive with your wording and this allows you to generate more emotion when writing and shift your vocabulary at the same time.
- Add-In Music To Build Emotion– The more emotion you generate the more you will feel. The more you feel the more you tune into your emotional self and really start to experience true grace and appreciation for life. I would say 99 %of the time I am listening to some sort of audial stimulation to enhance my experience. Depending on your music taste’s listen to music that inspires you, makes you feel, maybe even music that you would consider to be “sad”. The whole point of this experience is to “feel” and you’d be surprised how deep you can get into this state when writing out your truest appreciations while listening to deeply awe-inspiring music. (Check out this playlist if you like beautiful/inspiring music to write you gratitude too)
- Review Your List– Feel free to look back at what you wrote down during your experience. There is really no time limit to this but I would say casually after 10 minutes of continuous thanks is usually when I begin to truly hit my deepest & most compelling emotions and appreciations for life. This is what you want, to be so involved in reviewing what you’re grateful for that you get lost in the process. This is true presence and the more you move into this state the more you are able to opt out of getting caught up in the tribulations of life. The whole point of this process is to remind yourself of the beauties of life. We live in an entitled world where we forget to appreciate things like our friends, family, lyft driver’s, coffee shop baristas, our laptops, a smile etc.. It truly doesn’t matter what you are grateful for as long as you remember that what you focus on grows. So make sure that you are focusing on what you wish to create more of because that is what this process will do.
At the end of the day, to be grateful is your choice. Yet, the world has enough people who aren’t appreciative enough and if your altered mood due to your new found gratitude practice can rub off on someone else than you are providing a great service to everyone on this planet. This is bigger then you, this is a tool that can literally shift the world if everyone actually applied it. We really have no reason to complain about anything as the more we focus on things we love, the things we love will flourish. Life is not as complex as it seems, we just make it out to be that way 🙂
-Skylar G. Lysaker