A daily gratitude practice is good for your mindset, your health, and creating a seasonal life! Read on to learn a morning meditation for your gratitude practice. I created a FREE gratitude journal to support your daily practice. It’s available through the form below. Enjoy!
This post also contains affiliate links based on my personal experience with products that support a seasonal lifestyle. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I hope you find them useful.
A Morning Meditation for Your Gratitude Practice
The way we start our day sets the tone for what’s to come. Resist the urge to begin on autopilot by allowing the mind to default to gripes and resentments. Even worse, beware moving unconsciously from coffee to shower, dressing room to the car, and car to work.
Instead, use this video first thing each morning to remind you of all life has to offer! It’s a great companion to your first cup of coffee or tea. While watching, tune into your heart space. You’ll love the sense of openness that evolves with each passing affirmation. Enjoy!
What is gratitude?
You know you’ve felt gratitude, but if asked can you define it?
It’s not so easy because the experience of gratitude comes in many forms. It can be a character trait you recognize in yourself and others. Gratitude is also a disposition, an inclination to look for and recognize the ways outer influences affect your life for the better. It can be an emotion, like the way you feel when someone is unexpectedly kind or thoughtful. And gratitude can be a mood, an emotional state that fluctuates throughout the day.
The people at the Greater Good Science Center have put a great deal of thinking into the nuances of gratitude. This department of the University of California at Berkely is dedicated to turning “scientific research into stories, tips, and tools for a happier life and a more compassionate society.” That’s a pretty awesome mission, and I highly recommend their website.
Robert Emmons, the world’s premier scientist when it comes to the topic of gratitude, says that gratitude comes in two forms:
- The acknowledgment that there are good things in the world and the way we receive them.
- The recognition that the source of this goodness is external, no of ourselves.
Here, I’ll let him explain more about what gratitude is and does:
The Science of a Gratitude Practice
One of the greatest contributing factors to how much happiness you feel is how much gratitude you show.
This simple fact is based on brain science. When we express gratitude, we release dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for how much pleasure we feel. The greater the frequency of gratitude expressions throughout our days, the more likely the brain will default to feelings of gratitude at other times.
Here’s another quick, little video to help you understand the science of gratitude.
Ways to Practice Gratitude Throughout the Day
There are so many ways to bring more gratitude into your life! The trick to being more grateful and happy is to bring awareness to your thoughts. Bring these practices into your daily routine to help shift your mindset to a more gracious outlook on life!
- Morning meditations and affirmations
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Send notes of appreciation to the people you love and respect (snail mail or email)
- Spend time in nature every day, noticing the beauty freely given
- Practice random acts of kindness with no expectation of reward
- Take a news fast and refrain from negative media for a given period of time.
- Genuinely say thank you often to the people in your life.
- Learn the loving-kindness meditation
- Remember all the people who helped bring food to your table before each meal.
- Mentally list 5 things you are grateful for before going to sleep
Do you have a cherished gratitude practice? Tell us about it in the comments thread below.
A Gratitude Journal for Your Practice
A gratitude journal can be as simple as a spiral notebook dedicated to recording the things you appreciate each day. As a matter of fact, that’s what I use!
But sometimes we need a little help in starting a new habit. That’s why I designed this Little Gratitude journal for you! Download, print, and start writing! It is just what is needed to jumpstart a daily gratitude practice!
The Heart is the Home of Gratitude
When I settle into my gratitude practice each morning and evening, I feel calm and peaceful. The place in my body where this regenerative feeling resides is behind my breastbone, right in the middle of my chest – the heart space.
From time untold and the world over, religious and spiritual traditions refer to the heart space when describing gratitude and appreciation.
During these modern times, where science and spirituality comingle to offer practices with meaning a purpose for an awakened life, we can easily find resources to help us feel grateful and strengthen the heart space. The organization Heart Math Institute‘s mission is to document the effects emotions like gratitude and appreciation have on individuals and society.
Their research demonstrates that the heart has an intelligence all its own. When that intelligence is stimulated with feelings of gratitude, appreciation, care, and compassion, the body becomes healthier. When enough people intentionally call up these feelings and direct them toward a certain place, levels of violence, and discord measurably drop.
I encourage anyone creating a seasonal life to explore the philosophies and techniques of the Heart Math Institute to bring an elevated awareness, sense of peace, and health to your life. Their techniques and events are also designed to bring positive change to places and cultures. In this practice, we touch on the pillars of wellness and activism in the Seasonal Living Framework.
You can learn more in the video below:
Look for Evidence in Your Life
One of the most effective ways of bringing meaningful change into our lives is documenting our practices’ effects. We do this with things like meal tracking apps, budget planners, and even using the simple bathroom scale every week.
When you begin your daily gratitude practice, tie it to an intention. Perhaps you intend to experience a greater level of peace regardless of circumstances. Maybe you desire better sleep each night. Both of these benefits, and many more, are tied to the regular practice of gratitude.
Once a week, add to your daily gratitude, practice an exploration of how your life is improving with the intention you bring to your gratitude practice. Each time you notice and document the benefit, it will strengthen your practice and make you want to do it again.
So, download the Little Gratitude Journal, begin your practice, and let us know how it goes in the comments thread below!
Join the Seasonal Living Community!
We also gather over email once a week to focus on one specific garden, kitchen, or wellness topic in-depth, with lots of step-by-step how-to’s. The best way to jump into the email conversation is with the Seasonal Living Workbook. You can download it here and explore the seasonal living framework with an email course!
So much love and free information in one place, but it’s not the same without YOU!