Gratitude gets a lot of praise, but what if I told you that your understanding of it probably just skims the surface? Besides being a cornerstone of happiness, gratitude plays a big role in your vibration and your ability to manifest which we’ll get into in this article.
The abundance of teachings from a scientific-Westernized perspective oversimplify gratitude like it’s some new-age trend that will come and go. The traditional concept has become diluted, where most people think that the feeling of gratitude is just the effect of dopamine. Nothing more than a chemically induced feel-good emotion.
This perspective couldn’t be farther from the truth. Gratitude is so much more than a feeling. It’s an energy that exists on the same vibration as love. If you want to live a happy, abundant life, gratitude is a prerequisite.
That’s why I’ve written an in-depth article that will tell you why it’s so important to feel grateful for your life situation, what it does for you, and how you can experience a whole lot more of it. But before moving on, I suggest that you read the article below which gives you a framework for vibration, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Gratitude: Feeling or Energy?
Gratitude is an energy that comes from the heart chakra. It’s the feeling you get when something really good happens to you, where you just feel so appreciative. I’m not talking about muttering a thank you when someone gives you a hand, but the real feeling of deep appreciation that comes from the heart.
As gratitude is a positive energetic outlet, this energy corresponds with the higher self, and higher states of consciousness. This means that gratitude is closely connected with virtuous behavior, happiness, love, abundance, and benevolence. It’s part of the high vibrational system that is tied to heavenly frequencies.
Besides being one of the most pleasant sensations that you can experience, gratitude has a direct connection to your sense of happiness. Well, it makes sense. When someone is happy, they are feeling grateful for their life situation. When they are suffering, they are not. As long as you feel this energy, you may feel a lot of hurt, but you won’t necessarily suffer, as suffering contradicts gratitude. Do you see how this works?
It doesn’t matter how privileged someone is, if they are not grateful for what they have, any ‘thing’ in their life really doesn’t mean much. On the other hand, someone with so little can be deeply appreciative of everything that they do have, and ultimately, they’re going to be a lot happier than someone who takes everything for granted.
This is the paradox of gratitude. It’s an energy that needs to be cultivated, not an emotion that is triggered. Here’s an article about opening the heart space which can help you feel more gratitude in your life.
Why gratitude is a cornerstone for personal growth
Anyone on a spiritual journey should make gratitude one of their top priorities. Even if you spend your whole life focusing on just being more grateful, and you finally get it, believe me when I say, it’s worth the investment.
The reason why I say this is because gratitude is the ultimate trump card. If you’re genuinely grateful for everything that life gives you, you don’t need wealth. You don’t need friends or a partner. You don’t need a good job, a high salary, or any material possessions to be grateful. All you need is life, and if you’re reading these words right now, then congratulations, you qualify.
Everybody has something that they can be grateful for. People with good lives may have an advantage, but if they’re not grateful for what they have, then it’s pointless having it. Since most of us have so much, we normalize all the good things that we’re abundant in, instead of really appreciating them. What a wasted opportunity.
It’s important to realize how lucky you have it compared to some people. There is so much that you can learn to appreciate. You can be grateful that you have a job and make an income. Be thankful for your opportunities, and health, that you are alive and experiencing this journey. You can even be grateful for the pain you’re enduring and all the wisdom it has given you.
Looking at gratitude as a lifestyle
Your perception plays a big role here. Perception isn’t the key to gratitude, but it can help you cultivate it easier. Think about it in a way that you can be grateful for literally anything. Within your personal growth journey, you should be seeking to knock down those walls between you and gratitude.
Learn to see it as something that you don’t get small glimpses of, but a lifestyle that you feel into. It should always be the underlying tone of your life experience because there is always something to be grateful for.
Right this second, think about a few things that you can be appreciative of. Stretch yourself, think both internally and externally. After giving it some thought, compare your list to mine below. here is an article about optimism which can help you change your perception around if you see things in a negative light.
|For access to water
|For your life
|For access to food
|The challenges you have faced (and the competence you’ve gained)
|For your family
|The pain you’ve endured (and the wisdom you’ve gained)
|For your friends
|For the memories you’ve made
|For the shelter over your head
|For the life experience you have had
|For the clothes you wear
|For being self-aware and awake
|For having a place to stay
|For being on a fulfiling personal growth journey
|For your job (or having time to rest between jobs)
|For having the ability to actualize yourself
|For your vehicle and the ability to easily commute
|For your desire and ambition
|For being healthy (or for the healthy parts)
|For being a good person
Building the muscle
Look at your sense of appreciation as a muscle. The more you work this muscle by expressing gratitude for any given thing happening in your life, the stronger it gets. As this muscle gets stronger, you’ll find it easier to feel grateful, and you’ll start doing it more often. Likewise, the sensation of gratitude will become stronger, meaning you will feel happier.
When you feel really grateful for something, you’ll feel an energy coming from the heart. It’s a similar sensation to love as both of these energies are very similar. They both come from the heart chakra.
So really put your focus into your heart and feel it from there, not the mind. If you’re just saying thank you to be polite, it’s not really going to do anything. You need to mean it for it to make a difference, and to make you genuinely happier. Success is a feeling, and by having a strong gratitude muscle, you’re successful.
- Why success is so much more than a material condition
- Incredible benefits of gratitude journaling: How to get started today
Why gratitude is bad for business
Gratitude isn’t good for a materialistic society for a simple reason. If people are satisfied with what they have, then they won’t want to buy more. If people are dissatisfied, then you can bet that they will be spending cash to try and quench that desire.
More gratitude = less need to consume = less contribution to the economy.
Our societal structure is built around making people feel like they’re lacking, and this is one of the challenges you’re up against. This is one of many traps within society that you need to be aware of.
Unfortunately, these giant corporations, marketers, and governments are very good at making people believe that they need something more to be satisfied. Most of us are completely indoctrinated with this fallacy to consume more, and we don’t even realize it. Of course, believing you need more to be satisfied isn’t good for your personal growth, which is why I wanted to talk about this.
Tread lightly and take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Next time you catch yourself falling into an advertisement or conforming to some new trend, ask yourself, is this really necessary? Will buying this thing actually make you genuinely happy, or just fulfill an artificial need that shouldn’t be there in the first place? Realize that you have everything you need, at every moment to be happy.
How can you experience more gratitude?
Stop taking things for granted
There is always so much that we take for granted, including the bare necessities like fresh water and air, shelter, and warmth. You can appreciate your health, nature, and the people in your life, and that you have a bed to sleep in. You can appreciate literally anything as long as you build that mental muscle, and train you to see how good you actually have it.
Take a moment to bring your attention inward and realize where you are right now. What are you doing? Are you wearing enough clothes to be warm? Do you have a full stomach? Are you living a lifestyle that allows you to indulge in simple pleasures like eating chocolate or having a coffee? Do you have a job and earn an income?
Think of all the little things that usually slip past unappreciated. Really take a moment to be thankful for them. Don’t just say it but feel the sensation of ampleness as you realize that you have enough. You have everything you need for this present moment, and that’s what matters.
Celebrate the small victories
We are so focused on what goes wrong or what could go wrong, that we are blind to everything that goes right. The train arrived on time? Amazing! Didn’t lose your job after the embarrassing mistake today? Fantastic! It’s not raining, great, you can enjoy the sun. It is raining? Great, the plants need water anyway.
To many people, these will seem like the most trivial accomplishments. But to others who have built the muscle of gratitude, each trivial success is a huge victory. If you can perceive every small occurrence as a victory, think about how many victories you encounter on a daily basis. Life is goading you to appreciate the little things, and it won’t let you taste happiness until you do.
By focusing on the positive aspects of life, you bring a positive perception into your reality, and your reality dictates your experience. So milk the experience, and focus on what doesn’t go wrong.
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t have access to water for a long time, and you were really thirsty? You’ve been dreaming about the first gulp of that sweet nectar rejuvenating you. It might have been a struggle, but when you finally had that first drink of water, it was the best thing ever!
Pay attention to that feeling. The feeling of being absent of something you really want, because once you get it, you’re so much more appreciative of it. This is because of delayed gratification. It’s almost like getting the thing you want straight away doesn’t serve you, funny that.
I would encourage you to push yourself a little and not fall into temptation whenever you want something. This can take a little bit of discipline, but if you allow yourself to experience a little more discomfort on a daily basis, you’ll be rewarded with more gratitude. A fair trade in my eyes!
Use contrast as a springboard for gratitude
By going through an undesirable situation, it helps you realize how good you have had it. Every bad situation has a silver lining, and this is by making you appreciate the regular situation more.
Think of it this way. If you contracted a serious illness that admitted you to hospital, during this time it’s probably going to be difficult for you. You are going to wish that you were back at home in good health, eating normal food again, and not needing people to look after you.
As you are suffering the unpleasant effects of poor health, you realize how good life was before. It’s not because the regular situation has changed, but because the contrast makes you pay attention to the ampleness of it.
This experience might make you appreciate just being able to walk around, see friends, and get out in nature. Suddenly, your normal life becomes ideal and sought after. When you return to normal, you are likely to be much more grateful for your health, because you have experienced the contrast. Going through difficult experiences humbles you, and forces you to realize what you have taken for granted.
This means that the hardest experiences are actually there to help you find balance and align with gratitude. So use difficult experiences to realize just how good you actually have it. Don’t forget the struggles you have been through.
Bless the things that you consume
Energy is always interacting, and you put your energy into everything that you consume. Something I learned when I worked with Ayahuasca shamans for half a year in Ecuador is that they spend a lot of time appreciating everything they take. And I mean, a LOT of time.
Whether it’s drinking a cup of water, eating some food, or drinking their delicious medicine, shamanic healers have a strong habit of blessing the things they take. They take their time with the process and really feel that sense of appreciation before, during, and after they have it.
This isn’t just building the muscle of gratitude which is also extremely important to do, they’re also putting the vibration of gratitude into the things they consume. In a sense, the vibration is transmuting the energy of the substance (or spirit), and they’re absorbing all of that heavenly energy.
So spend some time appreciating the things that you consume. Every time you’re about to drink some water, take a moment to feel your appreciation for having that water. Imagine your life without it. Likewise, when you eat, appreciate the animals that died. The ease of access. Be grateful that you’re not starving. Make this a consistent practice, and you’ll build up that muscle quite quickly.
Learn to appreciate the small things in life
Your perception matters when it comes to cultivating gratitude, as perception can facilitate the flow of this energy. This shows that gratitude doesn’t have a correlation with the things that you have, or your actual life situation. Your material situation can give you an advantage, but that advantage doesn’t mean much unless you use it.
How often do you hear about these super rich and famous celebrities who have it all, and commit suicide? So many people who are admired by millions are bitter and miserable, so what does that tell you about their situation? Seems good from the outside, sure, but until they learn to appreciate everything that they have, there will never be enough.
Someone with close to nothing and the right mindset can be richer than most people in the world, as long as they possess the wisdom to appreciate everything that they have. And people who do really appreciate what they have: their life, the experiences they’re having, the challenges they face, the simple things that allow them to be comfortable, are usually happy.
So let me ask you this. Do you think an emperor who is always looking to attain more is happier than a monk who has an extremely simple life void of pleasure? Really think about it.
Appreciation is a muscle that is built by being aware of all the things you have, getting value out of them, and acknowledging how much that value actually helps you. The more you train this muscle, the more it grows. Your life situation, at its essence, is internal. That’s what it’s all about.
Gratitude: Anchoring in heavenly frequencies
Gratitude can be considered as a heavenly frequency. What this means is that gratitude is one of the highest vibrations that we can experience, which is on par with energies like love and compassion.
As a high vibration corresponds with heavenly frequencies (closer to feelings of bliss), by experiencing a lot of gratitude, you’re essentially experiencing a slither of heaven on Earth.
This energy is a signal that something good is happening to you, which means that this is the energy you’re attracting into your life. This is why gratitude acts as a powerful catalyst in the manifestation process, as you’re essentially reverse engineering the process.
With that said, you attract a life situation that corresponds with your vibration. If you’re feeling a certain way, the machine molds to correspond with that energy, as it wants to be congruent with it. If you feel like you’re lacking, and you need something, you’re going to experience more scarcity.
Gratitude and the law of attraction
On the other hand, if you experience gratitude, you’re signaling to the universe that you have everything you want. So the universe works to match the material condition with this vibration you’re holding, which attracts more positive things into your life.
This is why it’s so important to be thankful for things like personal growth, your experiences, and the journey of life itself. These things aren’t going anywhere, so they’re stable anchors for gratitude. Intrinsic qualities are much more substantial, as material values will come and go, and can be shallow.
By basing your sense of satisfaction on your life experience instead of what you have, and pushing yourself to have the most enriching life experience you can possibly have, this is how you can really begin cultivating more gratitude in your life, which is more stable, and abundant.
Create an object for your gratitude
If you really want to bring your sense of gratitude to the next level, believing in a higher power that you can direct your gratitude towards is necessary. To do this, you do need to have some sort of faith, otherwise, you won’t have anything to direct this energy towards.
By having an object for your gratitude such as god, you can perceive anything good that happens in your life as an act of love from this creator. By believing that you are being helped, guided, and loved, this allows you to be thankful towards that creator, instead of writing it off as luck, chance, or coincidence.
Let’s look at an example. If you’re an atheist and you have a really good day, you’re just having a good day. It might make you feel good because of what happened, but that’s about it. If you have spiritual beliefs and you have a really good day, you will be thankful to your creator for giving you (or facilitating) such a good day.
On the other hand, imagine your loved one got in a terrible accident, where they were admitted to hospital in critical condition. Afterwards, this person recovers and goes home. Without any existential beliefs, you may be relieved, but otherwise, it was just bad luck. If you have strong faith, you will be so grateful to your creator for showing mercy to your loved one.
The result? You end up experiencing a whole lot more gratitude because you have something to be thankful to. What this object of your gratitude is doesn’t really matter. We all call it different things. Some people will thank god for every good thing that happens and every moment of mercy, Others will direct their gratitude to the universe, and others to the grand spirit.
Again, it doesn’t matter, as long as you believe in something that you can direct your gratitude, you will have many more opportunities to be grateful. This is also why every culture has places of worship. Whether it’s a church, a shrine, or a statue, these sacred spaces act as objects for people to express their gratitude.
So direct your gratitude, and use every opportunity you can as a way to express more of it. Otherwise, to learn more about the spiritual realm and this object of your creator, check out one of the articles below!