By likemindblog



The Power of Gratitude

Part One

Why can’t you be more grateful? It’s likely at some point you’ve heard this remark from a parent, grandparent or have even uttered these words to a child yourself. (Or even worse, a partner!) Our need to see gratitude in others is a huge part of us seeing that person also as a loving, caring person.

Having gratitude helps us to enjoy life more. It can break through huge barriers and reduce our stress loads, give us more confidence and help us to meet our goals- no matter how big they may be.

There is now doubt that being grateful goes a long way. It’s just how to be grateful in times of stress or when suffering from disappointment or sadness that’s difficult.

All you Need to do is Breathe

Often we get caught up in a vicious cycle of if onlys. If only the job came through, then weld be grateful, if only the kids were better behaved, then we’d say thanks, if only I could lose that extra ten pounds, get that guy to notice me, find a million dollars under my pillow…if only, if only, if only..

The problem with if only is that if and when the if only happens, we often just move onto the next thing we want to get without stopping to say thanks. Or we focus so much on that hopeful if only, we forget to recognize all the other things we have in our lives to be thankful for.

So let’s start with the basics…right here, right now. There is so much each of us has to be grateful for. We just often forget to focus on the good bits.

Sit quietly. Take a large breathe into your lungs. Let it fill you up completely. Don’t let any of it out. Take a few top up breathes. Feel the sensation if it fill your body. Breathe until you cannot fill yourself anymore.

Now hold it in. Feel the sensation of it feeling all tight inside your body. It may feel slightly uncomfortable. It may feel like you are about to burst.

Then let the air out. Let it rush out, then push the last amount out completely until there is nothing left.

The Gift of Being able to Breathe

How did it feel when you were finally allowed to release the air? Good? Like a release?

If you are struggling to find anything to be grateful for at all, start with your breath. It gives us oxygen, our chief nutrient for our body. Without it we cannot survive. It reminds us we are alive. And that alone is an outstanding thing to be thankful for.

The drive to survive is far stronger than anything else. Your world may be crashing down around you, with creditors calling, relationships failing, and stress overload. But if you have breath, if you are alive, you are at a point where you can overturn all of that and start again.

Try the exercise again. Do it several times in a row, taking in slow breaths then releasing it slowly with that pause in the middle. Try it with your eyes closed and let it still you.

Have gratitude for your ability to breathe.

And After We Breathe? Then What?

Gratitude can change our lives hugely. But first we need to take a look at where we are right now. In fact we possibly need to do a little navel gazing, and let it all hang out a little.

Often we are not honest about what parts of life we don’t feel grateful in. We know we’re meant to be thankful and we don’t want to admit that we’re not. It all feels a little naughty.

So spend some time taking a little look inside your life over a range of areas.

Make a little list. Think about the following and come up with one chief thing you are not thankful for about it (if there is one), and one chief thing you ARE thankful for (if you can).

Perhaps these ideas can help you start your own Gratitude List or Journal …

Your finances

Do you feel you have enough? Do you think it’s managed well? DO you feel a lack of money is affecting other areas?

Your work life

Do you enjoy your job? What parts do you like? Where is it taking you? Is there any part of you that is still wanting more from your job? In what way?

Your love life/ social life

Do you feel fulfilled and happy in this area? Do you feel loved and accepted for who you are? Have you got great friends?

Your goals

Do you have goals? DO you have a sense of where you are headed and do you know how to get there? DO you feel your goals are realistic for what you want to do and where you want to be?

Your physical life

Are you comfortable in your body? What parts are working well? What isn’t doing so well? Are you filled with energy? Do you enjoy the foods you are eating?

Your home life and possessions?

Do you feel you have enough? Or do you think you need more? Do you like the things you own? Have you got your favourite items that you treasure? What do you really long for? Is there anything?

Make a list of the things you struggle to be grateful for, and the things you already are thankful for. Don’t worry if the complaints list is a little long. We’ll sort that out soon!

How can gratitude get that moany groany list looking a lot lighter?

Well it’s all so simple really. When we change the way we think, and start to fill our lives with thankfulness, nothing else is the same. We start to change our lives forever, and they DO get better.

The movie and book THE SECRET propelled the magic of gratitude onto centre stage with a simple formula of think of it, thank the universe for it, and it happens. While there are a few important steps missing in this (for instance, you really need to act on a few things along the way as well for anything to happen) there is no doubt that the step of being grateful for the now, and for the future does help.

to be continued next week…

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Filed in: Health • Friday, March 11th, 2011


By Mylène Beauregard on March 11th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Super article, j’ai hâte de lire la suite…
Je suis un peu effrayée à l’idée de faire une liste de ce envers quoi je n’éprouve pas de gratitude!

Merci Michèle,


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours