Hand outstretched in gratitude.

Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health Part 12

I want to pause and emphasize a specific mindset—the mindset of gratitude. I think most people are aware of the power of gratitude. The problem is we fail to utilize that power to our own benefit. Gratitude is a very dynamic thinking and feeling state that we can learn to harness for our betterment. It increases a sense of well-being, and well-being gives us the power to overcome cravings and make choices according to our highest desires.

Thinking vs. Feeling Gratitude

Learning how to immerse yourself in the feeling of gratitude has many benefits. Being thankful cultivates positive emotions and feelings. When fully immersed in the feeling of gratitude, it’s virtually impossible to feel fearful, anxious, judgmental, angry, or any other negative emotion. Negative emotions deplete our willpower and make it harder to resist the cravings for addictive foods and substances that steal our health from us.

Now, this is the important part: There’s a difference between thinking gratitude and feeling gratitude. It’s the feeling that is persuasive, but you have to start with the thinking. You have to begin to think about what you’re grateful for.

Man sitting in a barn looking out to the dessert and meditating on gratitude.

When fully immersed in the feeling of gratitude, it’s virtually impossible to feel fearful, anxious, judgmental, angry, or any other negative emotion.

When you first start thinking about what you’re grateful for, there’s a bit of a wrestling match that takes place in your brain. Whatever pre-existing negative emotions you were experiencing will continue to impact how you feel while you begin to think about what you’re grateful for. There’ll be a period where you could go in either direction. You could sink back into judgment, anger, self-pity, or some other negative state. Or instead, you could continue to meditate on your gratitude.

The longer you immerse yourself in the thinking of gratitude, the more likely you’ll experience the feeling that comes with it. That’s a much more powerful state of being.

The Practice of Gratitude

I recommend that you begin to keep a gratitude journal where you write down everything you’re thankful for. You can do this in a few minutes a day. Write down anything you’re thankful for, from your past, what you envision in your future, or in your present moment. You should write these down in as much detail as possible, especially when dealing with past memory. You can begin to use this as an easy entry to the feeling state of gratitude. Every day, after you wake up, if you could take a few minutes and just begin to experience the feeling state of gratitude, you will start with a better mindset.

Wake Up to Gratitude

Try to start each day, after you come into conscious awareness, by beginning to contemplate and meditate on all the things that you’re thankful for. Try not to look at your cell phone, or turn on the news, or do any other distracting activities. I promise this will serve you well, and help you get control of your thoughts. Anytime you find yourself feeling bad, meditate on what you’re thankful for until you feel grateful because it’s so much nicer to feel good than to feel bad, and you do have power over this.

Negative emotions deplete our willpower and make it harder to resist the cravings for addictive foods and substances that steal our health from us.

Gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get this power over your thought life, health, and wellbeing. Don’t miss the opportunity. Practice gratitude.

If you have questions about a more personalized and integrated approach to your wellbeing, contact us. You also can like Health Shepherds on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.