Opening your heart in gratitude releases a continuous stream of positive energy that supports spiritual clarity, creativity, personal effectiveness, strengthening of the immune system, elimination of energy blocks, and the diminishing of fear, stress, and negativity. As such, it brings us into emotional balance so we feel less irritated or angry when someone cuts in front of us in traffic or our partner makes an insensitive remark. It also helps us better observe our reactions, stop negative self-talk, and cease judging others. In response, we can access our inner guidance to make discerning choices in our health, relationships, and finances. Most importantly, the overall quality of our lives improves because we wake up each day with positive energy, inspiration, and a sense of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.
When we are grateful, the heart and brain operate synergistically. With practice, we can improve and actively control this synergy to prevent stress-producing emotions and enhance mental clarity. We can initiate self-love that leads to loving others by closing our eyes, placing a hand on the center of our chest, and focusing our attention on our hearts. We can attain inner peace by going deep inside our hearts, quieting our minds, breathing deeply, and focusing on radiating love in the form of gratitude or compassion to ourselves or others. By breathing out negative thoughts, emotions, and judgments about ourselves with each exhalation, we can eliminate any negativity and clear energy blocks.
Begin every day feeling grateful for opportunities to open your heart. No matter what your circumstances, daily bless yourself, your fellow human beings, and the earth; then express appreciation for your unique gifts. This opens your heart and helps you hear the voice of spirit guiding your life. Expressing gratitude for such spiritual guidance inspires you with the knowledge that you are not alone in your journey through life and strengthens your sense of connection with the universe.
An affirmation that can be helpful in this regard is the following by poet e. e. cummings reminding us to affirm ourselves and life in this way: “I thank you God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky: and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”
Acknowledge the blessings of who you are and what you already have, even if you do not necessarily feel this way. You can start with feeling blessed for being alive, followed by other blessings in your life. Continue the practice by repeating the mantra “I am a blessed being” or “I bless myself, my fellow human beings, and the earth no matter what.” Keep a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others assist you.