Quick exercise: Name three things you’re grateful for right now.
Can you do it? Were you able to list three? Ten? Or, did you have a tough time feeling thankful because you’re in a challenging phase of life and your focus is simply on surviving whatever is difficult right now? We’re here to remind you that if you shift your attention, you’ll change your perspective. Two of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras provide direction and wisdom.
One of the major tenets of yoga is Yoga Sutra 1.2, citta vritti nirodhah or learning to direct the attention of your mind where you want it to go. Yoga Sutra 2:33 encourages us to replace negative thought patterns with positive ones or Pratipaksha bhavanam. Life is like a rollercoaster. When we accept the ups and downs in our lives as simply part of the process, we can work toward living in an attitude of gratitude.
Here are a few ways to choose the positive and be thankful, no matter what is happening around you. Try a gratitude journal. At the beginning or the end of each day, write down three things you are grateful for, no matter how small they might be. A bright blue sky, a good night’s sleep, a smile from a stranger—anything at all. Find something to enjoy about what is happening in your life instead of giving attention to what is lacking.
Appreciate what you do have today and release attachment to exactly how everything will work out in your life tomorrow.
What we focus on expands and what we remove our attention from diminishes. So, focus on the positive in each day and begin to grow your patterns of appreciating everything in your life. Like yoga, gratitude is a practice. Once you settle into a daily pattern of focusing on what you’re grateful for, it’s easy to start automatically seeing the positive instead of the negative.
We’ve brought you a wonderful program Yoga for Gratitude this week, with new meditations and yoga classes designed to help you not only focus your attention, but direct it toward gratitude first.
Meditate with Gratitude - Pradeep Teotia
Gratitude Training - Kylie Larson
Core Gratitude - Pradeep Teotia
Open Your Heart to Gratitude - Elise Fabricant
Gratitude Meditation Practice - Alanna Kaivalya
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