Feeling Joy and Inner Peace with the Gratitude Formula

How a person is choosing to show up for themselves in their life could be directly related to their mental health which could also affect how they perceive things in their life.

Mental health can most often be a perception of their happiness.

This is attributed to the thoughts and emotions being constructed from the reactions and interpretations of what is occurring.

Gratitude is not the only thing that alleviates mental health functioning, but it is an important piece of the formula to experience joy and inner peace.

Gratitude is one attribute that promotes positivity with thankfulness. It places perspective on emotions that focus on accepting events, situations, people and things as blessings as opposed to dwelling on the negative thoughts or experiences.

Any type of new process takes time to implement or adjust to. That is the same with living with daily gratitude. Making it part of a daily routine requires patience before seeing or feeling it’s immediate results.

Studies have shown that it has a psychological effect, almost like re-wiring the brain.

It is re-wiring the brain to see the goodness in life by placing focus on it. People begin to notice that the source of the “goodness” in their life is not just external.

Through gratitude there is a connection to something greater than ourselves.

To think that gratitude can help to feel positive emotions, savor experiences, improve mental health, develop adversity, connect in relationships, it is hard to imagine why someone would not commit to a daily practice of gratitude.

However, with any habit, lies resistance or reluctance to follow through for change to occur.

A simple process helps with making it a consistent habit

Writing or saying one thing you are grateful for each day for 30 days is one way to start living into it.

There are many ways to express gratitude

  • Thankful for past memories or blessings during any time period of your life
  • Thankful for the present experiences, moments, situations in your life
  • Thankful for the future of hope, optimistic outlooks of what could be

Through my life journey I have realized the Gratitude Formula that works for me.

My Gratitude Formula

Acceptance + Acknowledge + Giving & Receiving + Curiosity + Wonder = Love, Connection, Joy

= GRATITUDE

Acceptance means appreciating the situations for what they are in the moment. What they are showing, teaching about life, others and myself.

Acknowledge means expressing the blessings wholeheartedly. The simple things that give joy for living each day.

Giving & Receiving means being open to allow the exchange of abundant appreciation.

Curiosity means continuously committed to being a student in life with expansion to learn, grow and transform in thoughtful connection.

Wonder means having captivation be visible in everything around you. The awe of how things came to be.

Knowing the benefits of gratitude is just the beginning.

If you started your day, everyday with focus on what you have instead of what you don’t or what you feel you are lacking, how might that change your approach in life?

What would you be letting go of?

What would surrendering to inner peace give you or others?

What would you be creating?

Gratitude is a powerful way of “being” which is a key ingredient to live with contentment, inner peace, and glowing elation.

Awaking to awareness within yourself

The word “meditation” is commonly used when the topic of presence is discussed.

There are some people that say, “I can’t meditate because I can’t turn my brain off.”

Some misconceptions about meditation

  • Mediation is not about turning the brain off.

It is about being present with your mind through a deeper state of awareness.

It is about training your mind to allow thoughts to come and go without directly attaching self to them. This helps to increase awareness of yourself and surroundings.

Furthermore, it enables someone to manage their thoughts while enhancing creativity, emotional balance and overall calmness.

  • Meditation doesn’t always feel relaxing. At the beginning it may be an uncomfortable process to be present with yourself.  Someone might think there are so many other things to be done on the to-do list and meditation takes away from time that can be used for other tasks. The process of connecting to oneself actually improves the efficiency at which steps are taken with clarity and effectiveness.
  • The method of meditation does need need to be self evaluated as right or wrong. There is no wrong way to meditate. Gradually it becomes efficient in the way you become present with yourself. That is all part of the process.

If you start by meditating for 2 minutes, that is good enough. If your mind is wandering for those 2 minutes and you find it hard to sit still, that is good enough. Repetition and discipline of the routine will gradually enhance the experience over time. That is where shifts in awareness are visible.

Meditation can take various forms.

9 common types of meditation practices

  1. Mindful meditation is a practice that helps you become aware of what your sensing and feeling in the moment without judgement.
  2. Spiritual meditation is a practice that connects you to something greater than self, to develop a deep relationship with the human spirit without the need to hold identities and labels.
  3. Focused meditation involves focusing attention on an object or physical sensation using any of the five senses to help increase awareness of the present moment.
  4. Movement meditation involves being mindful of the sensations that occur during movements.
  5. Mantra meditation is the repetition of a word or phrase that is whispered, chanted, spoken while being repeated during the meditation.
  6. Transcendental meditation is a practice where you mentally repeat a Sanskrit word or phrase with your eyes closed until a state of inner peace is reached.
  7. Progressive meditation is a technique that involves two steps of intentionally tensing each muscle group in the body and then focusing on relaxing them.
  8. Loving-Kindness meditation is the practice of generating loving-kindness towards self, others, all living beings through goodwill, compassion and kindness.
  9. Visualization meditation focuses on using guided positive imagery, ideas, symbols, thoughts, feelings or sensations.

Through the various types of meditation, the sole purpose is to center yourself. The various forms of meditation offer ways to do that.

Meditation offers the opportunity to develop emotional intelligence by connecting with emotions, the body or enhancing overall awareness.

This is accomplished through expanding states of consciousness and self realization.

You get to have present moment awareness by shifting from thinking to sensing.

Here is a simple meditation to help connect to your inner awareness;

Now is the time to be aware of the present moment. Say to yourself, “I let go of the past and future.”

Turn your attention to your senses.

Focus on the sounds right now that take minimal effort to hear. As you concentrate more, begin to notice other sounds. Just continue to be present with all the sounds that come and go.

Turn your attention to your body.

Take a moment to feel your arms wherever they might be. Your legs wherever they are. Bring awareness to any pains or tightness in your body. Any feelings that are present. Be aware of the shifts in these body sensations while being present to them as they come and go.

Turn your attention to your thoughts.

Watch your thoughts as they appear and float away. Allow them to arrive and pass without grasping them. There is no need to act on them or respond to them. You are just observing them. Each thought is just a message. There is no judgement behind the message. See the messages and let it pass by without attaching a meaning to it.

Turn your attention to your breathing.

Feel your breath as you inhale and exhale. Notice the sound, the air entering and exiting your lungs. Notice the speed of your breath. Slow the pace down as slow as you can.

Allow your breath to become deeper.

Sit and be with all the senses you were just conscious to without concept of time.
Allow yourself to exit from the meditation when you are ready.

What did you notice about the present moment?

What did you notice about your awareness for your inner self?

How has your perspective of the present moment changed?

Unhappiness turns into depression

The moment when prolonged thoughts of unhappiness turn into coping with depression.

What do the prolonged unhappy thoughts feel like?

They feel dark. They feel painful. The feel suffocating. They drain energy from within.

Major life events can be the trigger of these thoughts. When the thoughts are created they project an emotion of helplessness, hopelessness that accompanies the thought.

This is the pivotal point when a decision is made to attach to the emotion of what is being experienced.

Over time a pattern of thought and emotional connection continue when it is triggered.

The warning signs may show being tired frequently, not having a restful sleep, sad, loss of interest in life, withdrawn and isolated.

Constantly “going through the motions” each day. Walking around numb to experiences and emotions.

Frequently feeling stuck with limited options. Everything just seems so difficult.

The belief forms, “I can’t.”

Every effort seems like a GIANT step.

Suffering in silence is then chosen as the best option. There is shame and guilt for feeling like this, being this way.

The Role Of Presence

Presence plays a major role in navigating through depression.

Taking the time to process feelings and emotions. One way to allow this process to take place is through self compassion. This will help to relieve the shame and guilt.

Daily habits contribute to the thoughts and emotions. Are the chosen daily habits serving or fueling the state of depression?

Self care is crucial to aid in producing energy, calming, and giving self comfort during the healing process.

Depression is a form of disconnection. A belief that there is minimal possibility or choice to transform what is being experienced.

The shift happens when the power to change is acknowledged within yourself.

Therefore, connection is important to begin facilitating hope, faith, trust and possibility.

Implementing ways to connect with self and others.

Are there support groups or communities that have people experiencing similar things?

Can you connect with them to share in the experience? This will help to connect back in life.

The choice is eventually made, it doesn’t have to be done alone.

Unhappy thought patterns are slowly converted into outlooks and perspectives that offer love, hope, possibility.

Clearing the way for thoughts of being in the presence of compassionate, mindful and inspired living.