Gratitude is one of the most empowering states of being, a harmonization of our will, emotions and spirit. The act of acknowledging something in our experience as helpful or important is the state of gratitude.
In my own experience of transmuting pain, this process of being thankful, accepting my pain as a part of a transformation was essential. Many times I would experience an uplifting feeling of joy in the midst of great pain, giving me the courage to continue on. In times when I wasn’t in gratitude, the pain would often be more intense and emotionally debilitating; often losing my will to carry on. If I wasn’t careful, any time I began to experience intense pain, I would accept this automatic conditioning.
From a Psychological point of view, pain is the choice to acknowledge something in our experience as undesirable. This thing being inherently neutral, an object. Choosing to not accept something in our experience activates our fight or flight response, creating the host of negative emotions we commonly associate with bad experiences. If this is not corrected, it can create dissociation and lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. In the aggregate, we can accept our experiences instead turning away from them, understanding them more fully and transmuting them into good.
For instance, trying vegetables as children can be an intense experience, causing us to avoid them. Having made this choice, we later are disgusted by even the sight of them and can even have violent reactions if consumed. But as we age, the mind can open, and we try them again only to discover may like eating vegetables. The mechanic is allowing a new perspective to enter into our minds, while experiencing the symbol of it in the objective experience.
Augmentation of our subjective experience is made possible by choosing to open our minds. Holding a thought in mind, without necessarily accepting it, allows us to explore an idea to see if it is true. The act of entering this transformative state is accomplished by honestly seeking to be thankful of the thing you are imbuing with gratitude.
I find this technique is most effective when practiced daily, especially in relation to things viewed as bad. For example, if you detest a dirty kitchen, take a moment to be grateful in that space, practicing the skill of transmutation, expanding your mind to new possibilities and meanings.
Source – Waking Times
“The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.…People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.”
Gratitude—It Does a Body Good
Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
- Write thank you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
- Count your blessings: Once a week, reflect on events for which you are grateful, and write them down. As you do, feel the sensations of happiness and thankfulness you felt at the time it happened, going over it again in your mind.
- Pray: Expressing thanks during your prayers is another way to cultivate gratitude.
- Mindfulness meditation: Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a lovely memory.
Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude
- Expand the scientific database of gratitude, particularly in the key areas of human health, personal and relational well-being, and developmental science;
- Promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in medical, educational, and organizational settings and in schools, workplaces, homes and communities, and in so doing…
- Engage the public in a larger cultural conversation about the role of gratitude in civil society.
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle