This edition of Hood Health 101 explores ways to increase your feelings of gratitude
Gratitude is having the ability to be thankful and appreciative while offering that same energy to others. A lot of times we get so bogged down with our day to day activities that we’re rarely taking the time to critically analyze our lives. In some cases, our perspectives are so skewed in negative way that we are unable to see the beauty in all that we have or in what’s currently happening. Taking a moment daily to shift your perspective and express gratitude for every situation, lesson, and blessing in your life will significantly increase you happiness. This in turn will attract more happiness, and greater abundance into your life.
Pick a jar that you like or one that you can decorate to become your gratitude jar. Cut out shapes of paper that you are drawn to like pyramids, squares, circles, or rectangles. Every day fill out a piece of paper with something that you are grateful for and meditate on it for 5 minutes. After each month is complete place all of the pieces of paper on a poster board or in a picture frame for display. This enables you to see everything that you were grateful for monthly. Once you get to the end of the year, go over everything that you were grateful for that year by yourself, with family, or with a significant other.
Jouranaling the good old fashion way by paper or digitally is yet another great way to express your gratitude. There are ways to do both methods of journaling while maintaining your desired degree of privacy. With this method you will need write down what you are grateful for daily and reflect on it for a moment as well. Unlike the previous option, this one illustrates your entries in chronological order. If you utilize a paper journal you can catalog each journal and refer back to them while having that retro (and undervalued) feel. If you utilize the digital version, you can readily share and access your journal via technological devices. Either way, do what inspires you the most
Mala beads are traditionally used for prayer, meditations, and mantras. Using it for gratitude activities is yet another creative way to utilize them. Traditional mala beads come with 108 beads or the multiple of such. Set aside 30 – 45 minutes and repeat what you’re grateful for repetitively or go through 108 things that you’re grateful for. As you sit with your mala, touch a bead for each sentiment expressed and continue to move around the mala until you have completed the set of 108. This gives you a more in depth meditative approach to the gratitude activity.
No matter the method you choose, taking the time to appreciate your blessings is something that we all should do. You can also take it a step further and create family traditions based around gratitude activities as well. The key is to be creative with the process and do what inspires or motivates you to be more mindful about your level of gratitude.