Mindfulness Activity #109
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Good Morning. Last night there was an amazing sunset, and beautiful bright moon. This morning, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Although our activities are curtailed and our visiting limited, there is still much to be grateful for. The science of mindfulness includes specific benefits associated with the experience of being grateful.
See this 2 minute video which summarizes this literature in only 2 minutes
When I teach, I often highlight the concept that emotions love themselves. What does that mean? It means that when you are feeling irritated you notice more things that irritate you. Your emotion literally acts like a filter on your experience. Then angry thoughts create angry feelings, and the process repeats. This can be true for any emotion. So why not improve our feelings by focusing on things you are grateful for that make you happy. For today’s practice, you will need a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Move on when you have that ready. If you can practice outside, do that if you like.
Now Begin breathing deeply in and out…in through your nose, feeling your shoulders rise, and then out through your nose. Click the link for a timer…
Now on your next breath, focus on anything that gives you a happy feeling, anything you feel grateful for, and notice the feeling that arises. Take a few more breaths and think about people, foods, your favorite t-shirt, activities you enjoy. Think about your capabilities or qualities. It does not matter if your list has 1 thing or many. Now put your pen or pencil down and reflect on what you have written. Generate a feeling of gratitude. It may help to think, I’m thankful for…
When the chime ends, your task is to try to keep the gratitude filter on your experience today. You may have annoying experiences, but try to scan your environment for things small and large that you are thankful for and to take in that feeling of gratitude.
Enjoy your weekend!