Why Focus on Gratitude?

Northern Deer Alexander

First Things First : Gratitude

The First thing you need to focus on if you want to be fulfilled and happy one day is the essence of gratitude. Happiness and self-fulfillment are positive things, and so they are connected with positive feelings and positive thoughts.

Herein lies the first problem: our reptile mind. We all have what is called the reptile mind or reptile brain. The reptile mind is essentially a primitive part of the brain existing in all living beings to help them survive. For survival purposes it is great, but for thriving and achieving happiness and self-fulfillment it is not.

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The Reptile Mind vs the Creative Mind

Because of this survival mechanism, the reptile mind is focused on what could go wrong and it notices easily and more often the negative aspects in life. This creates a tendency for negative thinking and negativity in general. People are not negative - they are scared!

So if you want to thrive you need to start focusing on the other part of the brain, the creative or innovative part, which is responsible for creativity and prosperity. This part of the brain is more advanced and is connected with states of being that are much higher than fear and the stress of survival.

This, however, does not mean that we have to put on a fake smile all the time and pretend that it's a sunny day when it's actually raining. We shouldn't ignore reality or act as though things are going well even when they are not. But dwelling on negativity leads to stress and depression, whereas living constructively and observing the good side to each situation is uplifting. Appreciating what is nice about things and being open to positivity is a strong psychological toner.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Allowing yourself to work with gratitude and the energy of gratefulness, specifically, can have a deep impact on your over-all happiness. Many personal development gurus, masters and coaches have studied the effects of gratitude and have shown that it helps to trigger powerful positive emotions and high levels of motivation. Many spiritual teachers talk about how gratefulness - if practiced purposefully - can lead to a higher sense of self, self-respect and self-love. Gratitude also leads to better relationships and deeper appreciation for others, and has a positive effect on the immune system and on our physical health in general.

It has been proven that gratitude makes people more lively, more conscious and better decision-makers. The benefits of gratitude on our psychological well-being and our ability to deal with challenges in everyday life are immense, especially in the financial world and in our professional tasks and obligations.

Here some small practices you can do to enhance this energy in your life, starting from right now :

Say Thank You

First, you should start thanking people sincerely. When someone lends you a hand and eases your day, be eager to thank them and show your appreciation no matter how big or small the favour is.

The benefit of doing this is double: you feel good about yourself and you also make the other person feel appreciated, which ultimately comes back to you as this person will also send good vibes back to you. It is the best feeling in the world to see someone light up inside after hearing a positive word of encouragement or appreciation. It can literally change your day as well as the other person’s. And this is how we can change our Karma! Judging from these interactions (and also from the opposite type of interactions : negative interactions arising from criticism and blame) we can see the impact that communication and human relationships have on our lives.

The Gratitude Diary

Another way that gratitude can have an impact on your mind, and help awaken the creative part, is the “gratitude practice”. The gratitude practice is a kind of diary in which you list the things, people and situations you appreciate and feel thankful for everyday.

This practice has an instant effect on your energetic and mental levels and helps make you more open, positive, constructive and fulfilled. Write this list of things you are grateful for every single day, and include anything and everything you can think of : small things, big things, small gestures, big gestures, small interactions, big interactions. You can even put “negative” things that have taught you important lessons (you can appreciate these lessons). That way, your life will start transforming.

Bringing Gratitude Into Your Life

You don't have to limit your appreciation to the people that you meet face to face. You can also write messages, letters or emails of appreciation. In the letter or the email, express the positivity that this person brings to your life and tell them how important this is for you -nd then click send (or even mail it by post!). Write these letters to the people that have had a positive effect in your life and that you have never had the chance to thank until now.

Of course, it is also true that we can’t make everybody happy. There will be times that others will not respond positively to your appreciation. In these cases, do not take the negativity to heart. On the contrary, you can decide to eliminate this person from your life and learn to keep only the people that truly appreciate you and your efforts to create a positive, constructive vibe. This is one of the secrets to success: our ability to make choices about what we allow to enter our world, and our ability to respect these choices. So decide right now to create a sphere of constructive positivity in your life. Bring gratitude to yourself and those around you and you will see your life transforming and bringing you these very rewards a hundredfold.

About the Author

Northern Deer Alexander is the founder of The WOW Academy. When he is not working with his students, he enjoys leading shamanic journeys and meditation sessions, going for walks, traveling and meeting new people, engaging in energetic and physical training, reading books, and creating online courses on spirituality and personal development.