I remember lying in my grandmother’s bed at night when we visited. I was four or five years old and my Nana used to sing to me and tell me to count my blessings before I went to sleep. One by one we would go over the day and count out all the things for which we we were grateful.
It’s a tradition I am sharing here this Tuesday – renamed ‘Gratituesday’ – because no matter how hard things get, and they can get pretty hard sometimes, there is always, I repeat, always some good that you have experienced in that day. Once you start naming it out loud, or writing it down, you start to generate the feeling of gratitude, and once you’ve got the feeling going, so many other memories and experiences pop up as you ride the sensational wave.
That feeling generates higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain associated with controlling essential bodily functions like your metabolism, it affects eating, sleeping and stress levels, and also generates dopamine, the reward chemical, making you feel good, more determined and enthusiastic. It’s a virtuous cycle!
As far as I can see, a daily gratitude practise is simple, quick and has no down side only up!
Here’s my five for today:
- I’m grateful I got to spend time meditating on consciousness in the Meditation Room today.
- I’m grateful that Ann and Andy lent their energy and came out in the rain to join me.
- I’m grateful I found Kahlil Gibran’s poetic description of what I do, and that it struck a chord with me.
- I’m grateful for the giggles generated in the shop when I, and the women behind the counter, saw a pilot stride in in full uniform for a loaf of bread (even though we live nowhere near an airport).
- I’m grateful for that little bright red geranium in the corner of the kitchen that lights a smile on my face every time I walk in there.
What are yours?