The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
What are you grateful for? I mean, what are you truly grateful for?
Take a second and tune in to what softens and warms your heart when you think about it?
Is it the small things that happen in daily life?
Is it the rays of the sun gently touching your skin in the early morning hours?
Is it a sudden feeling of contentment and trust in life that you sense in your body?
Is it the ginger lemon water that you’re having every morning because it warms your body from inside?
Or do you have gratitude for something that you know you’re just blessed with in your life?
Maybe it’s a loved one, a closed friend or someone in your family that you can always count on? Who is always with you, no matter how far you are apart?
Or is it the awareness of being healthy, and having a body that is capable to practice yoga every second day?
How to practice Gratitude
To practice your gratitude, get used to write down what you are grateful for. I found it is easiest when done in the morning or evening right before going to bed. You can simply integrate the practice of gratefulness to your morning routine (link).
In your journal, write down three things you are grateful for every day. And here comes the trick: not only write down WHAT you are truly grateful for, but also WHY you are grateful for these three things. The moment you start thinking about the underlying cause that makes you feel good about it, this will manifest even more in your brain and body.
The Benefits of Gratitude for your Body, Mind and Soul
Scientists found that practicing gratitude will improve overall health and well-being, but also improves self-esteem, mental strength and your sleep.
Focusing on good things in life, your brain will adapt to the daily thoughts and you will actually FEEL more gratitude, optimism and joy. Done frequently, you will notice a shift of your mindset starting to appreciate things more in your life, becoming optimistic and increase your happiness. You will just get an overall, more positive attitude towards things and this in turn will affect your perception of things and events in life.
What our Students are grateful for
In our this year’s 200 hr Vinyasa Yin November yoga teacher training, we provided something special to each of our student: a journal to practice gratitude.
I want to share with you a few lines about what our students wrote into their journals because we are very touched by the words they found to express their gratitude. Some of them are:
“I am grateful for my loving family and parents raising me openminded. I am grateful for choosing Inner Yoga and all the delicious food that we get at Azadi Retreat. And I am grateful for the snorkeling on the day off, seeing all the turtles.” – Ruth
“I am grateful that I am willing to open my self more and be less judgmental. To see an improvement of my Asana during my yoga teacher training. And I am grateful for the group I am doing the teacher training with.” – Lidia
“I am very grateful for staying with an amazing group during the inner yoga teacher training. All ages, different backgrounds and from all over the world. I also really appreciate the location of Azadi retreat we’re staying at and the beautiful surroundings around it. It wouldn’t have been the same in a noisy place.” – Silje
“I am grateful for the smile from the gardener who reminds me every day that you don’t need things to make you happy. For my voice, which I’m slowly finding through mantras and my teaching practice. To the incredible teachers who are so passionate, compassionate and knowledgeable and impart more than a curriculum of information but wisdom about a way of life. And finally for the body that I inhabit and for my beautiful soul and source of eternal energy.” – Tarryn