WHAT HAS MEDITATION GOT TO DO WITH GRATITUDE?

With an attitude of gratitude, we are able to feel content and live happily. It gives us a clearer focus on life as it really is. We will be content with what we have and therefore our attitude will bring us a spirit of peace and contentment.

That is why it is so important that we cultivate an attitude of gratitude so that we can have a more positive outlook in life. Otherwise we will be chasing our own tail and always get stuck in a never-ending rat race. This will lead you to more stress and depression.

Using Meditation to Reawaken Your Sense of Gratitude To Be Alivethankful-1081614_640

When you have forgotten your birthright, the most powerful and effective way to remember and revive it is to use the power of your unconscious mind. Our unconscious minds hold many treasured memories which have been obscured during the course of our lives. Meditation can bring them back to light and make them available to you again.

What Research Reveals About The Impact of Gratitude

Robert Emmons of the University of California and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami are engaged in a joint long term research project on gratitude. They aim to establish the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being. They’ve already published some interesting results. (1)

First result: gratitude improves well-being

Seven hundred people were involved in one of their first studies. They were divided into three groups. One group practised daily gratitude, while the others undertook different ‘control’ exercises which did not involve gratitude. The ‘gratitude’ group were significantly more alert, enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic than the groups who were not practising gratitude. They felt better about themselves and their lives.

Second result: gratitude improves mental and physical health

A particularly interesting finding was that the ‘gratitude group’ – who kept a daily record of things they felt grateful for during the study – had better immune system function and were less likely to be affected by physical illness. They exercised more regularly than members of the other groups, and were less likely to become depressed.

Third result: gratitude helps you get on in life

The study monitored not only how people felt, but also what they were doing while participating in the study. Those who were practising daily gratitude made more progress towards personal goals than those who were not. Academic studies apply strict statistical rules to determine whether findings are ‘significant’. So for such a finding to be reported, something measurably distinctive must be going on.

But what have you got to be grateful for, exactly?

It can be surprisingly difficult to determine where to ‘aim’ your gratitude. Contemporary western culture gives the impression that we are all ‘entitled’ to the good things of life. At the same time, the ‘good things’ are implicitly and explicitly defined as material wealth, and happiness is equated with more stuff. Now, delayed gratification is no longer widely encouraged or valued.

The combined effect of these cultural pressures is to make us feel resentful and frustrated rather than grateful. If we don’t get what we want (which of course we are ‘entitled’ to), we feel cheated and hard done by. What’s to be grateful for? We lose sight of the significance of the small pleasures of life, and especially those which are not directly tangible, or which don’t have a ‘market price’.

So how can you rediscover the attitude of gratitude?

Even if the cultural bias is against you, or you feel that your own life doesn’t seem to offer you much to be glad about, it is possible to ignite – and maintain – a gratitude attitude which will transform your life. Partly it’s about recapturing the attitude of very small children (and you were once a very small child). Small children find the most mundane aspects of the world thrilling and enchanting. You can remember how to do that too.

Using Meditation to reawaken your sense of gratitude to be alive

When you have forgotten your birthright, the most powerful and effective way to remember and revive it is to use the power of your unconscious mind. Our unconscious minds hold many treasured memories which have been obscured during the course of our lives. Meditation can bring them back to light and make them available to you again.

The Light and Gratitude Guided Meditation is a short audio session which focuses specifically on using deep relaxation and recall to help you recover something which you once knew how to do perfectly well – be grateful for everything.

As you listen to the meditation audio, you will be amazed at how powerfully and vividly long-forgotten memories of delightful experiences come back to you. They will remind you that, whatever the circumstances of your life, you do indeed have much to be grateful for. You will learn how to build up this attitude of gratitude into a powerful resource for your life.

Reference

(1) Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). ‘Counting blessings versus burdens: Experimental studies of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389.

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