3 Steps to Making Gratitude a Habit

Awareness is key.

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Present moment awareness (aka mindfulness) is the most straightforward, natural path to gratitude. The more awake and aware of the present moment you become, the more you’re building your mindfulness muscle. As your perspective on your life and the world around you expands, you’re able to tune into more of what’s present—and that includes more to be grateful for.

In other words, stepping into awareness allows you to see the world for the beauty that it is, not colored by the dirty lens of an old mindset or belief that stopped serving you a long time ago. When you begin to master the skill of being aware, you also begin to master your default to gratitude.

There are three critical steps to nurturing an awareness to gratitude mechanism in your brain.

  1. Paying close attention to the present moment, fostering mental, physical, and spiritual focus.
  2. Being wholly engaged in the present moment—not distracted by the past, the future, or the latest gadget.
  3. Getting comfortable with stillness.

By becoming aware, you allow the present moment to expand on its own. You can welcome gratitude for it—simply by watching, waiting, and sitting with an unattached curiosity and compassion for the world. (Sounds an awful lot like the practice of meditation, doesn’t it?)

By consistently creating space for gratitude in your mindfulness practice, you’re instantly up-leveling its effectiveness. While you can’t rush healing, gratitude can act as a secret trapdoor to accelerating the process of becoming unstuck from your limiting thoughts and freeing yourself from the things that are no longer serving you. The more room you make for gratitude in your mind, the more your inner-critic loses critical mental real estate.

Consider the thinking-feeling-behaving cycle that’s often discussed around mindfulness. Remember, although nearly 95 percent of my clients and students think that feelings ignite the thoughts that inspire actions and behaviors, it’s really your thoughts. When you’re mindful, you’re able to slow down your thoughts, find the gap between your thoughts, and then pause long enough to choose the thought that will best serve you and the greater good.

If you’re choosing your thoughts, you might as well choose gratitude.

Did this post give you some ideas for incorporating gratitude into your mindfulness practice? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

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