Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude: A Practice

Gratitude is a practice that takes time,intention and patience to cultivate. It is a state of mind that creates resilience.

As the holiday season kicks off this month, let us take an intentional pause. A moment to breathe in deeply, to ground ourselves and fill our hearts with gratitude, acknowledging and appreciating all we have to be thankful for.

Finding gratitude during times of hardship is more important than ever. Gratitude practice is not intended to minimize the difficulties one experiences, but rather to help one manage life’s challenges. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what one receives. An acknowledgement of what is good in life. It is counting our blessings, appreciating our lives in the present moment and being thankful for what we have- contentment, that is enough.

Choosing to embrace a lifestyle based in gratitude and mindfulness has an abundance of positive health benefits:  increasing resiliency,  improving physical,   – mental, and emotional health, as well as quality of sleep, boosting happiness and the feeling of connecting deeply within relationships.  Cultivating a heart of gratitude begins with intention- a conscious choice to focus your time and energy on what you are thankful for. A choice to be happier and healthier. This year, let the holidays be a source of appreciation and joy instead of a season of anxiety and depression.

Practicing Gratitude with Intention and Purpose

We all have something to be thankful for, but finding that thankfulness,
appreciation, and positivity can sometimes be difficult, especially after the years
of heartache, loss, and frustration we have all experienced. Thankfully, there are
activities ranging from short exercises to lifestyle choices that can help guide
you. Here are my top five exercises to aid you in your journey to finding daily

1.  Meditate
Dedicating time to practice meditation centered around gratitude will give you a greater sense of happiness and well being. If you are struggling
on your own, an app called Calm
is a great resource that can guide

2.  Share
Sharing your gratitude has many different forms: writing a thank you card or keeping in touch with a friend via a phone call, are two simple examples.
3.  Journal
– Reflecting and writing down what you appreciate can help you connect with what inspires gratitude. Making this a habit is especially beneficial on tough days because you can reflect on past entries.
4.  Affirmations of Gratitude Create one positive and short phrase of thankfulness. If you are struggling with this exercise daily, try having an affirmation of the week. “Nothing great becomes great without overcoming great resistance.” Brian Klemmer
  Live your Life Social media often portrays the picture-perfect life of others. A comparison to someone else’s life, real or exaggerated, can rob you of the grateful appreciation you can have of your own. 

Gratitude unlocks the
fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.
Melody Beattie

By: Brynn DeLong
Patient Care Coordinator