ALL LEVELS / 5 MINUTES / MEDITATION
Embodying Gratitude: A 5 Minute Meditation
"People are not grateful because they’re happy, they’re happy because they are grateful."
Brother David Steindl-Rast
Benedictine monk, teacher, and author
Many of us make lists or journal about what we appreciate in our lives. As opposed to a mental accounting, an embodied gratitude practice brings an awareness of how these things we are grateful for actually feel in our bodies. In this guided meditation, I invite you to remember a recent experience that left you feeling something positive. It could be as simple as noticing the sunset on your way home from work or reading to your child before bed. The point is to bring the experiences back - to relive these sweet moments that we often don’t have time to fully take in. Returning to experiences of love or beauty or wonder and taking the time to notice the thoughts, emotions and sensations that accompany them, soothes and nourishes us. We are left feeling more connected, less stressed and more appreciative of the simple gifts in our everyday lives.
Research shows that gratitude practices:
Divert attention from stress and anxiety
Strengthen social ties and increase pro-social motivation, helping us connect with others and feel less isolated and lonely
Create more activity in the hypothalamus and activate brain regions associated with dopamine
Help build a more approach oriented brain which leads to greater resiliency in coping with stress