The Benefits of Gratitude Meditation
During this global pandemic, levels of anxiety and stress have increased considerably. We are
living in a state of fear about the future, the economy and our health. Being in a constant state
of fear increases cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in the body, therefore impairing our
physical and mental health. With the current situation of the world and the constant torrent of
negative news stories, it’s no wonder we are struggling. According to the charity Mind, a
mental health crisis is predicted as a result of the pandemic. More people have struggled with
mental health during the pandemic, than previously ever recorded.
So, what can we do to alleviate our stress levels? Gratitude meditation can transform our
bodies and minds. By practising a daily meditation of gratitude, we can improve our mental
and physical health. By shifting our mindset from a victim mentality, we empower ourselves
to make decisions from a more grounded place. If we always focus on worries about the
future, we are living in our minds and not in the present moment. A regular meditation
practice can help us come back into our present lives and alleviate anxiety.
Gratitude meditation is a simple and beneficial exercise for ourselves, our family and friends.
Simply, turn off the television and radio, gather your loved ones together in a room and sit
down. Each take it in turn to say three things you are grateful for, including why you are
grateful for them. It is important to be aware of why you are grateful. Focusing our minds on
what we are grateful for gives us a sense of freedom and abundance. And once everyone has
had a turn, you have transformed the room into a space of gratitude and calm, reducing stress
levels. According to the author and meditation teacher Jack Kornfield, Buddhist monks start
each day with a practice of gratitude meditation, Native American elders begin each
ceremony with prayers thanking nature, and Tibetan monks offer prayers of gratitude for
Practising gratitude isn’t just positive thinking. It is shining a light on the parts of your life
that are beautiful and wonderful; on the people who you love and cherish; on the things that
bring you joy; and on the blessings you experience each day. Sometimes it can be extremely
difficult to look beyond life’s challenges and see what is good in our lives. We so often miss
it, taking those we love for granted and the beauty is lost. By slowing down, being aware of
the good things, appreciating our loved ones, and reminding ourselves of what is going well,
we are able to shift our whole perspective on this life we are given. We can start today. What
three things are you grateful for, and why?