Attitude of Gratitude

It’s a simple Science

I don’t know about you, but there are just some days when I can find myself overly-planning and conjuring up events, anticipating situations and all the “gotta dos”. Less so now – but there was also a time when I would find myself projecting about things so much that when it came to the actual event – it never seemed to live up to my expectations.

Well… there are many tools I’ve learned and developed over the years. Most of them come from  the teachings of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and self inquiry techniques etc. And still despite having learned, practiced and integrated these tools as best I can, I recognise I am far from being immune to the drama of my mind. If I continue to be absorbed in the overly blown “stories” my mind can create it will lead to a state of overwhelm and anxiety.

So here’s HOW I choose to NOT get INVOLVED in the over-planning mayhem from becoming too chaotic.

First step: Recognise the discombobulating effects manifesting.

This usually comes as trying to do several things all at the same time. For example: send an email from my laptop AND write a WhatsApp on my phone  AND make a tea AND put the dogs out AND order an item online…. You get the picture. In Ayurveda we would call this a blast of excess VATA (air and space elements).

Second step: I chose to STOP. Whatever I am doing.

I close my eyes.

Take 10 deep breaths.

This simple process of PAUSING already begins to centre me.

Third step: Set an intention of GRATITUDE.

Yes I pick 5 things I can be grateful for right now. Usually these are 5 things I can see, touch, feel, hear immediately around me.

Now just this morning I did this as I was walking in to the fields near my parents house with our family dogs. My mind was full to the brim of plans and the discombobulated feeling was separating my mind and body as I walked. So I stopped. Did the breathing. Set the intention to find gratitude. Found 5 things to feel grateful for. When I opened my eyes my gaze settled on a beautiful webbed home a spider had weaved around the gate. The dew drops… like little jewels and the light of the morning.

I realised I felt hugely grateful to be in a rural setting away from concrete and car fumes.

Now I ESPECIALLY use this tool when I am back in the “concrete jungle”.

Here’s an example of some my urban items on my gratitude list.

Gratitude for:

  1. The walk in the morning before I may spend the rest of my day in doors;

  2. The colour of the mid October leaves on the one or two trees I might pass before getting on a bus or tube;

  3. The colour of the sky- especially when it’s grey (there is also such a thing as “fake it to make it”… and that really works too!).

My other important things I can do to create gratitude is:

  1. Smile or say hello to someone passing by. You’d be surprised that even in London people can smile back at you! And it feels really great to have a momentary positive connection to a complete stranger. Somehow the city doesn’t seem so unapproachable. And I certainly feel grateful for that!

  2. I also can feel gratitude when I hold a door for someone; help someone who is lost or offer my seat to someone who seems in need. Even if they don’t respond in a gracious way- the gratitude comes because I feel BETTER/HAPPIER for the simple act of offering. Offering with no expectation of a return.

So doing these things makes me feel better. Almost instantly.

I can feel refreshed and can drop foreboding mindsets that may be looming.

What’s more it brings me back to the present moment.

Things feel lighter and brighter all around me.

AND – I can use this effective tool anytime to really soak up where I am right now.

So…Give it a go my friends and let me know how you get on.

Em xxx

Emily Reed