What do you have to be grateful for? Do you ever think about it? Does it ever occur to you to be grateful?
Practising gratitude is inherent in many eastern philosophies. It is difficult to feel negative feelings such as regret, disappointment and sadness if we spend our time feeling grateful for all the good things we have in our life. However low and desperate we may feel, for most of us, there is always a reason to be grateful. Did you eat today? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have at least one person in this world who cares about you? Do you have children who love you? Do you have hobbies and interests that absorb your attention?
Have you ever heard of a Gratitude Diary? Every night, before going to sleep, simply write down five things from your day that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be life-changing events, because, in life, it’s the little everyday things that really count. Some examples from my diary are: The book I’m reading; a smile from a passing stranger; hugging my daughters; yoga; the love of my parents; time spent with a close friend; a happy client; plain chocolate; a beautiful summer’s day; a trip to the beach; finding the ‘perfect’ clothes item; when everything just feels ‘right’; and finding a free parking space!
We are all individual and different things will please us and cause us to feel grateful. By keeping a diary, you will focus on all the positive aspects of your day, instead of the negative. This will automatically improve your mood and encourage you to develop a positive outlook. If you practice gratitude on a regular basis, you are much more likely to look forward to your tomorrows, as you will find there is always something in your day to be thankful for. Try keeping your diary for a month and go to sleep feeling grateful for the day you have just spent, and looking forward to tomorrow.
When you don’t understand why you feel or behave the way you do, what do you do? Do you talk to somebody about your feelings and ask them? Do you try a little research on the web? Or read a book? Have you ever considered asking your inner self?
Asking your inner self is sometimes described as focusing. Focusing is a gentle, powerful skill that allows you to tap into the body’s own wisdom in order to make positive changes to the ways in which you think and feel. This method of self-discovery is both empowering and enlightening.
By accessing your body’s stored knowledge you can very often find the rationale behind feelings and thoughts that make no sense on a conscious level. According to Ann Weiser Cornell (May, 2005) in her book: The Radical Acceptance of Everything. Calluna Press. p. 13:
Focusing is a psychotherapeutic process developed by psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin. It can be successfully used in any kind of therapeutic situation, including peer-to-peer sessions. It involves holding a kind of open, non-judging attention to an internal knowing which is directly experienced but is not yet in words. Focusing can, among other things, be used to become clear on what one feels or wants, to obtain new insights about one’s situation, and to stimulate change or healing of the situation. Focusing is set apart from other methods of inner awareness by three qualities: something called the “felt sense”, a quality of engaged accepting attention, and a researched-based technique that facilitates change
If you would like more information about Focusing then please do not hesitate to contact me using the contact page.