Yesterday we started our Gratitude Challenge by introducing the concept of practicing gratitude in your life every day in order to change your life for the better. I'm so happy you're continuing on with me to day #2! You should have used the worksheet I provided yesterday to help you write a list of your dreams and desires, or you could have just written it down in your own journal or notebook. If you didn't do that first step, please go back to read Gratitude Challenge Day #1 first.
Today we're going to start the core practice of gratitude by counting our blessings. Counting your blessings is such a simple concept. You probably have heard this all your life from your grandparents or parents. It is so simple, yet it is one of the most powerful things we can do; it will turn your whole life around.
When you're grateful for the things you have, no matter how small they may be, those things you are grateful for will start to increase in your life. The opposite is also true. If you're not focusing on your blessings then you can fall into the trap of concentrating on the negative things in your life. This happens when you criticize other people or if you complain about how bad your job is, or how you don't have any money, or how you aren't happy, or how you're alone, etc, etc. Remember from my last post, that you get what you focus on and if you're negative, those negative things will increase in your life too. And we don't want that!
"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for you life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." Tecumseh, Shawnee Native American Leader
We should start and end our days focusing on what we're grateful for, and write it down. So today, for Day 2 of our Gratitude Challenge, you're going to write a simple list of 10 things that your grateful for in your life. One important thing you need to make sure you do is to not only write what you're grateful for, by why you're grateful for that thing as well. The reason for doing this is because when you start to think about the reason why you're grateful for a particular thing you automatically feel gratitude more deeply. And the magical thing about gratitude is that it happens based on your degree of feeling. We need to think of our thoughts and feelings as energy. Positive feelings of gratitude about something = a return in positive to you. Albert Einstein practiced gratitude in this way; thinking about why he was grateful for things. So we're following in great footsteps!
So with each thing you write, you're going to write the reason why you're grateful for it. I've made a worksheet that you can follow here. You can download it, print it out and use it to write, or just use it a reference and write in your own journal.
You can be grateful for anything! But make sure it's true to you and your life, and what you're really grateful for. This needs to be authentic. Here are some examples you could write to get your thoughts in motion:
You could be grateful for your home, your family, work, pets, health, the sunshine, air, flowers, the ability to see, walk, talk...
After you've finished writing your list of 10 things, go back and read each item. After each item on your list, either out loud or in your head, say "thank you, thank you, thank you" after you read that item. This helps you to feel grateful as you think through each one. Some people even like to attribute their blessings to a higher power like the Universe, God, Spirit, greater self, etc. You could say "Thank you Universe, I am truly blessed to have my good health, because I'm able to live my life without pain or suffering." or, "God, I am so happy and grateful for my job because it allows me to provide all the necessities for my family to be happy and healthy." (then remembering to say "thank you" 3 times after each item as you read these).
After you're done writing out and reading through your list you should feel better and happier. There is a direct correlation between gratitude and happiness. The more gratitude you have, the happier you will feel. Many of us think that if we're happy we'll feel more grateful, but it's the opposite. Gratitude feeds happiness. So the more you feel gratitude, the more quickly you will feel happy and your life will change and blessings will multiply. If you're grateful for the relationship you have, it will get even better through practicing gratitude. If you're grateful for the job you have, more opportunities will all of a sudden present themselves to you. This happens with anything you focus on and add to your list.
So today is the start, but this is something we will continue to do each day for the next 27 days in the challenge! Don't worry, you will always be able to think of things to be grateful for, and it gets easier as you start to do it over and over.
Here's the link again to the worksheet to help you get started with your first list: Gratitude Challenge Worksheet Day #2.