Ways to Practice Gratitude
There are many ways to practice gratitude.
For instance, earlier in the month, we began to explore the use of a gratitude journal. In addition, gratitude can be practiced through guided meditative breathing, creating a gratitude garden or jar, or writing intentional gratitude reflections like a poem.
Let’s first explore gratitude meditation.
Guided meditation practice has existed for ages, both in the spiritual and the non-spiritual fields. It can help guide us to face our weaknesses or woundedness and grow into a sense of peace.
Below are the steps to take.
- To begin, find a safe, quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes that will ring with a gentle chime when the time has elapsed. (start the timer)
- Sit upright in a comfortable stable position where you feel fully supported, and your back, neck, and head are straight.
- Allow your eyes to gently close or maintain a soft focus. For instance, lighting a candle can be a gentle focal point.
- Take a slow, deep breath to bring yourself to the present moment, and begin the process of feeling more peaceful and centered.
- Mentally scan your body for any areas where there is tightness, tension, or soreness, and breathe your breath into that area; as you breathe out, let the tension release, breathing it out.
- Notice any worries, fear, anger, irritation, jealousy, or judgment. Just breathe into those emotions, noting them and allowing them to flow out as you breathe out.
- Notice any thoughts, plans, associations, anything other than being “here”; breathe into those thoughts, and as you breathe out, allow the thoughts to flow out with the breath.
- Now that your body, emotions, and thoughts are clearer, a bit more spacious and open, we can begin to focus on the events, experiences, people, pets, or possessions for which we feel grateful.
- Take a minute to reflect on your own reasons for feeling grateful at this moment.
- Next, as you breathe in, think “I am grateful for,” and as you breathe out, name that person, thing, or experience.
- Continue to do this until you feel yourself full and complete.
- After that, allow gratitude to fill your heart, mind, body, and spirit.
- When you finish [your chime goes off], rest quietly, noticing how you feel throughout your body, emotions, and thoughts compared with before you started.
- Hold your hands to your heart in a gesture of gratitude.
Another way to embrace gratitude is through an acrostic poem.
This type of poem is where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. Usually, the first letter of each line is capitalized. This makes it easier to see the word spelled out vertically down the page. In addition, acrostics are easy to write because they don’t need to rhyme, and you don’t need to worry about the rhythm of the lines. Each line can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
Are you ready to try writing your Grateful acrostic poem?
- First, write GRATEFUL down vertically.
- Second, brainstorm words or phrases that capture things for which you are grateful. If you have been keeping a gratitude journal, this could be a resource for you.
- Next, place your brainstormed words or phrases on the lines that begin with the same letters.
- Finally, fill in the rest of the lines to create a poem.
As an example, I have reflected upon that for which I am grateful.
I am GRATEFUL for:
G – God who shows up in my life in so many different ways
R – Relationships that feed and sustain me
A – Attunement to nature and how it feeds my soul
T – Truth that comes from deep inside
E – Evolving understanding of my value in this world
F – Feelings that allow me to know what I truly believe
U – Understanding people around me are also wounded and need grace and love
L – Love that I have finally allowed into my life in its fullest measure
Survivors to Thrivers encourages you to continue journaling thoughts of gratitude.
As you do this, you may find new definitions for GRATEFUL.
We would love to eventually see this Thriver Tribe begin to share these works of the heart with one another. If you would like to begin to courageously build that community and tribe, please share with us your gratitude thoughts or acrostic poem.
We are grateful for YOU! Here’s to Thriving!
If you are interested in other gratitude practices, here is a helpful link: https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-exercises/
If you would like more detail around guided gratitude meditations, please see: https://positivepsychology.com/guided-gratitude-meditation/
At Survivors to Thrivers, we are here to encourage your spirit to release the pain and anger that you have been holding so that you can experience the hope and future you deserve. Please let us know other ways that we can support you because you are the reason we exist. We want you to feel a part of our Tribe and that is why we respond to every comment shared and every thought offered.
We offer weekly encouragement through our Instagram (survivorstothrivers) and Facebook (survivorstothriversofficial) posts.
Talk To Tambry
I am glad you have taken the time to engage with this blog. Sometimes it is helpful to process new insights that emerge. If you would appreciate brief time with a someone who understands, our Talk to Tambry offering is for you. For 30 minutes, you can receive support from Tambry who is a certified life coach, spiritual director and a survivor who has been on the journey as well. This is offered at a reduced rate of $50.