5 Reasons to Practice Gratitude

5 Reasons to Practice Gratitude

Starting today, here are 5 reasons why you should make active gratitude part of your daily practice. 

Love yourself, love your day, love your life! 
1. Gratitude is being thankful.

Every day, I practice some form of gratitude meditation. It’s simple, start off by saying to yourself, I am grateful for… and then as part of a stream of consciousness, don’t edit your reasons. It has taken me years to find ease in this flow. 

I used to over-think it, or rank some things as less or more meaningful than others. Finally, I realized through spiritual practice that gratitude is a constant state of being. It is a way of seeing the world and ranking is not necessary. All things matter equally when practicing gratitude. 

2. Gratitude increases our appreciation for life.

So many days, it starts by being grateful for breath. This awareness that just by breathing, we have won the lotto today! To remember that not everyone in the world was chosen to breathe on this day is a very powerful eye opener.  

When I was at the Chicago Field Museum, I stopped by the Man’s Evolution section and read, “In the last 24 hours, 33 species have become extinct.” Hmmm, it doesn’t take much to appreciate that we are still promoting our legacy. But for many species, each and every day the experience of breath ends.

3. Gratitude is a form of acceptance. 

The more gratitude we experience for others' happiness, the more our gratitude grows. Stephen Levine writes, “As gratitude is cultivated, we experience an increase in our sympathetic joy, our happiness at another’s happiness (this growing sense of gratitude for whatever happiness, great or small, that comes to those around us).”  

Through gratitude, we accept the good in all. 

4. Gratitude is a return to balance.

It brings balance to those parts of us that are disconnected, or attached to suffering. Gratitude changes our attitude and helps us to stop feeling victimized by life. This is Yoga Sutras Chapter 2.33: “When presented with negative thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite, elevated attitude. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana.” 

If you are feeling down, hopeless, worried, or doubtful, you can bring the seesaw of your life back into balance by practicing gratitude.

5. Gratitude is love. 

Just like our breath loves us unconditionally, unconditional gratitude inspires love.  It softens us when we’ve been hurt or lost trust to let love in again. Love expressed as gratitude demonstrates itself in small acts of kindness and connects us to each other. Gratitude and love work together to promote positive healthy relationships because they attract more of each other. Love is gratitude; gratitude is love.

Try this easy-to-remember breath meditation: 

Inhale: I welcome happiness
Exhale: I am so grateful
Inhale:  I welcome inspiration
Exhale:  I am so grateful
Inhale:  I welcome love
Exhale:  I am so grateful


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