Gratitude meditation is a different form of utilizing mindfulness. It’s about being thankful in so many ways for so many things in life.

Before you can ever understand how to practice this form of meditation, you must first appreciate gratitude itself. Gratitude, in a nutshell, is thankfulness, but in the bigger picture, it’s more than that.

Think about the feelings of contentment, love, and helpfulness, and you will get close to understanding gratitude.

The reason why practicing meditation focused on gratitude is so important is that you fully don’t understand how important gratitude can be. It’s not entirely real to you until you experience the state of being – it’s being okay in the present.

How to practice gratitude meditation

You will want to practice this meditation if the goal is to boost your mood. Knowing how to be content removes much sorrow and struggle from your life. Maybe it’s temporary, as you go along, at first, but over time, it will permanently change your mindset.

Here are a couple of ways to practice this form of showing gratitude.

1. The Yin/Yang process

The Yin/Yang method of gratitude meditation revolves around the dark and the light. In truth, without the darkness, there would be no light.

As you start to practice this thankful form of meditation, you observe your struggles but also realize there are good details in every negative circumstance. With Yin, there is Yang to balance life.

There is a process that can help you get started with your practices. Each step is easy to learn, and even easier to implement into your life between the busy hustle and your basic responsibilities.

  • First, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. Begin by grounding with consistent and full breaths.
  • Think of something that’s bothering you. Accept that you are irritated. It is best that you start with something simple. Maybe you have to meditate in a smaller room this morning because of the company staying over or your loud and boisterous family members. I know changing my comfort spot is always irritating.
  • Now, search deep and find a positive aspect of this small room. Yes, the room is small, but it’s also quiet and located away from everyone else in the house. Plus it has a window which faces beautiful outside scenery.
  • Outside of traditional meditation, you can now go about life seeing positive aspects of some of the worst predicaments in your life. I’m not saying that you cannot feel the pain or acknowledge the pain. You should, it’s part of the process. But the most important process of gratitude meditation is seeing the good within the bad.

2. Meditation Apps

For those who simply haven’t a clue about meditation, or for those who just want a guiding voice, using an app may be a good idea. There are several applications that can help you get started with your thankful-based meditation.

  • Meditation apps include tracks of ambient music or soft sounds that help with your initial relaxation. Quiet your mind, as you sit in your comfortable area, and let the music drift into your mind.
  • Next focus, not on a negative situation or environment, but this time, on something that makes you thankful. Some of us struggle with focus, so adding a mantra or two can guide our minds back onto the process of gratitude.
  • Before and after meditation utilizing applications, journal your thoughts. Write about what makes you happy and what does not. Write letters to those who’ve had a negative impact on your life and to those who’ve had a more positive influence. Both have shaped who you are. Thankfulness comes to both sides.

3. Gratitude and release meditation

One meditation that is difficult for most people is reaching out in thankfulness to those who’ve hurt you. This practice helps you do just that.

  • Sit quietly, relax your body, and open your center. Be vulnerable. Begin by understanding your role in protecting your own life during the years.
  • Now, start to incorporate people from your life, both good and bad influences. Then dive deeper and find the ones that have caused great damage. Reach out with kindness and love to those the most.
  • Extend gratitude toward each experience and players in your life. As you are thankful, weights are lifted. Things begin to shift in your life. Instead of being bitter without meditation, you can understand the past as it was and release it thankfully. Now, you can focus on how you’ve protected yourself and continue to do so.

4. Mantra meditation

Have you noticed just how often you gravitate toward negative life circumstances? It happens frequently, I suspect.

With Mantra meditation, you can speak the positive aspects back into those toxic slots in your life. Even though you may not recognize the good, it’s there. It often gets covered in the mire and heaviness of negativity.

Use this practice to fight back peacefully.

  • As with all meditation, you need a comfortable place to start. Find that place and relax.
  • Find your center by removing all possibilities of disturbance. Turn off your phone, lock the door, and make sure everyone in the home knows not to interrupt the process.
  • Inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth. Always take full deep breaths, imagining that you’re pressing your belly button to your spine. Before pushing the breath back out.
  • Now, start the gratitude mantra. Here are a few examples:
  1. I am grateful for being alive.
  2. I am grateful to have a home
  3. I am grateful to have a job
  4. I am grateful that I have a loving family
  5. I am grateful that I have the vision to see nature
  6. I am grateful that I have ears to hear the birds sing.
  7. I am grateful that I can smell each scrumptious and lovely thing
  8. I am grateful for my pets
  9. I am grateful for the food I have

As you are grateful for all the little or big and great things in your life, you become aware that the negative aspects start to shrink in comparison. Practicing this mantra-based system works exceptionally well.

Gratitude meditation and what really matters

Life will fool you. This process of living will transform you into a bitter creature if you let it do so. That’s because life in itself is basically ruled by mankind, and mankind isn’t always that kind at all.

The object is to avoid letting the bitterness of others and the influence of other people’s bad decisions have an effect on your inner being. So many of us fall prey to this.

One of the hardest things in life, I’ve come to realize, is that we often have a knee-jerk reaction to bad news, and it pulls us away from the center.

If we can keep our center, focus, and dwell more in mindfulness, which is staying present, we can avoid many of those quick reactions.

Instead of reactions like this, we can formulate better responses, and really ask ourselves, “Does this matter? Will this matter in the long term?” and “How does it affect me?”

Then as you continue through life, continue to practice gratitude meditation. After all, we have so much to be thankful for in this incredibly flawed but beautiful world.

~Namaste~

Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

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