be grateful today
One of the Reiki principles that holds a key to your healing and promotes your health and happiness is “Just for today be grateful”.

You can practice gratitude if you have or haven’t learnt Reiki, yet Reiki helps you view all of your life experiences as gifts to be thankful for.

What is gratitude? Taken from The Oxford Dictionary gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.

It’s easy to be grateful when you perceive your life to be going smoothly. Most of us welcome warm sunny weather, moments spent with friends and family and time cultivating hobbies.

But what happens when you experience life challenges such as job loss, illness, or relationship difficulties? Whilst acknowledging the challenge and all the thoughts and emotions associated with it, what can you do to help lighten your healing process and reframe the situation so you feel healthier and happier?

Three tips to help you:

1. Self- Reiki Practice

If you have learnt Reiki create some extra time for self- Reiki practice. Self-Reiki practice helps you to “go with the flow” and accept the present moment as it is. There may be layers to acceptance of a life challenge. The gentler you are with yourself during this time, the easier your journey is.

During your self-Reiki practice ask yourself “Where do I need Reiki? If you don’t know where you need Reiki place your hands on your lower abdomen and heart. Spend time breathing deeply into your lower abdomen and acknowledge any thoughts or emotions that you feel without judging them.

Have your thoughts around your challenge changed?

2. Start a gratitude list.

Write down 10 things each day that you’re grateful for. Initially it may be ambitious to find 10 things daily to be grateful for but over time the exercise will become easier.

Try it for 21 days.  Research suggests that it takes 21 days to learn a new habit. If you continue practicing the new habit for another ninety days it’s more likely to become a permanent lifestyle change.

For example – Gratitude Day 1:

1. A cup of hot tea this morning.
2. A chat with a loved one.
3. Bike ride to work. It helps to lower my carbon footprint.
4. Friend cancelling dinner plans tonight. It gives me an opportunity to catch up on sleep.
5. Messy house. Reminds me that friends and family have enjoyed our time together.
6. Heavy downpour of rain. Crops are receiving extra water.
7. Time to cook a meal for dinner.
8. Greater harmony with my brother.
9. Long socks that keep my legs warm.
10. Hearing that I didn’t get the job I wanted. Initially disappointed. Am trusting that there is a job that is better suited to me.

No’s 4, 5 and 10 may not seem positive initially, but once reframed were made into positives. Cognitive reframing is a psychological term that refers to looking at events, ideas, or emotions differently so you experience a positive shift in how you view a situation. These mental shifts help you to create more happiness in your life. Practicing gratitude facilitates this process.

Has practising gratitude with your friends and family helped you to keep up with the practice? Did it help those around you feel better as well?

3. Gratitude for your five senses.

A Reiki Level One student shared a wonderful practice in class. I liked it so much that I started implementing it myself.

Each day she was consciously grateful for each of her five senses.

For example she was grateful for:

a) The sound of her father’s voice on the telephone
b) The smell of her neighbours freshly cut grass
c) Feeling her cat’s warmth on her lap as she watched T.V. in the evening
d) Tasting carrots for her afternoon snack
e) Seeing a man helping a stranger at the supermarket

There have been scientific studies done revealing that gratitude practice helps to increase health and wellbeing.

Here are three I enjoyed reading:

1. Gratitude improves the quality and duration of sleep

In 2009 a questionnaire study was conducted to determine if gratitude helped to improve sleep. 401 people ranging from 18 to 68 years, including those who had reported to have clinically impaired sleep, took part.

The study found that gratitude practice improved sleep quality. Those who participated slept for longer periods of time and reported less daytime dysfunction. These improvements were due to subjects noting there blessings before sleep.

2. Gratitude improves physical health

In 2013, 962 Swiss adults ranging from 19 to 84 years were given a gratitude questionnaire to see if and why gratitude contributed to better physical health. The findings suggest that grateful individuals experienced better physical health. This was due to their greater psychological health, willingness to engage in healthy activities and seek help for health concerns.

3. Gratitude increases job satisfaction

In a recent study 186 palliative care professionals from all over Spain completed a survey exploring how expressions of gratitude from patients and their relatives effected them. Almost 80% of those who completed the survey reported that they almost always received expressions of gratitude. Most of these came from family members. Due to the expressions of gratitude almost 90% of palliative care professionals reported increased job satisfaction and felt support during difficult times.

It’s wonderful that there is scientific research supporting the Reiki principle “Just for today be grateful”. The studies above show that when we focus on what have, rather than what lack, our physical, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health improves.

During Restore Naturally Reiki courses you learn more ways to practise gratitude and how life challenges are here to help you grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

Reiki doesn’t replace conventional medicine. It complements it.

Related articles:

The Reiki Principles

Reiki meets your need

A daily Reiki Practice

Being Reiki

Reiki for self care

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