Cultivate a practice of gratitude

Particularly during these days, close to the end of the year, we hear a lot about being grateful. However, gratitude is a great tool of mindfulness-based practices and helps creating a more positive mindset.

Why you should establish a daily practice — let me start with Deepak Chopra and what he said:

“Gratitude is good for you; it creates a biochemical shift in the body. The brain responds to positive input and sends life-enhancing messages to every cell.”

Sounds good? Yeah, and there’s more. When practicing gratitude, you will attract more reasons to be grateful for. This is the law of attraction! Meaning you’re not just grateful for what you already have, but also for what you want to have. Practice gratitude to receive. Woop woop, good trick, isn’t it? And it works! Just imagine, visualize what you wish as if you already received it. This way you’re sending the right energy out and the universe will deliver. Additionally, you are reprogramming yourself — in a state of deep gratitude, you will feel soft, released and happy.

How does a practice like this look like? Well, gratitude comes in many forms and there’s no right and wrong how to do it. Go with what feels good to you, but if you like to have some inspiration, here you go:

  • Use gratitude as an intention you set at the beginning of a yoga class (it can relate to your yoga practice, but doesn’t has to).
  • Say mentally a little prayer at the end of your yoga practice (you might want to thank your body for the great work and don’t forget to thank yourself for making time for your practice).
  • When life is going well, remember to be grateful for what you have. Whenever you recognize it, whisper a ‚thank you‘.
  • When life is serving lemons — be grateful for the teaching, there’s a reason for it. Give thanks for the teaching as well as for the final state you want to reach, as if you’re already there and looking back.
  • While it always works to send spontaneous ‚thanks‘ into the space, create a daily ritual, repetition is key.

I do it every morning, first thing when I wake up. I can recommend particularly this time, as the day is brand new, our brain still in a rest mood. Good to plant a seed. I give my thanks to the universe — couple of things I have and also a couple of things I don’t have so far. A great start into the day!

Gratitude is a practice of creating a state of emotional prosperity — go for it, make it a habit.

Reality check

If you’re stuck in a rut, if your routine and habits lost all its ease and you’re seeing yourself singing the blues with no reason at all – it’s time for a change darling!

No matter if it’s about your practice or any other part of your life, if you want something different, you have to do something different. Instead of reinventing the wheel, start with just one piece of the puzzle of your daily routine and see what happens. Be creative! Surprise yourself! Don’t allow your laziness to take over.

From time to time we need to change. It might be just a little habit, or something larger is due for a make over or even a replacement. Your measurement is your mood. Are you happy? Smiling? Are you feeling grounded, welcoming each day with open arms? No? Change! It’s all up to you. Try something new!

You don’t know where to start? What about trying this:

Change your morning routine. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and instead of pushing the snooze button, start your day with some pranayama.

Give yourself an easy start, stay in bed, lying down. Do some deep belly breaths. Belly out when inhaling, expand your rips, lift your chest. When exhaling, chest first, ribs and belly in. Slowly. Deep. Count for 5 for each inhale and each exhale.

After a couple of deep breath, stretch yourself, arms over your head, get long! Bring your knees into your chest, hug yourself before you slowly lift up to sit. Either sit in your lotos variation or on the edge of your bed and practice some minutes Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing. As this is a powerful technique to settle the mind, body, and emotions, we usually practice Nadi Shodhana when we feel nervous, overwhelmed or stressed. However, balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain also has its quality early morning, it feels like preparing the energetic channels for the day.

You’ll start clear and balanced into your day!