What Is Gratitude and How You Can Use It in Your Life
“Gratitude is a state of mind and a choice to view our lives through the lens of love, and acknowledging what we are thankful for in our lives,” says Laura Fredrickson, an empowerment specialist and prosperity priestess who has for twenty years, helped people focus on their self-worth rather than their net worth.
Gratitude is a popular buzzword in the wellness world, but with good reason. Science has shown there are many health benefits of practicing gratitude in your daily life. According to Psychology Today, the health benefits of gratitude include improvement to physical health such as regular exercise, better sleep, overcoming trauma, and a reduction of depression in some people. Fredrickson, whose teaching has improved the lives of many—from Victoria Secret supermodels to US Diplomats—says that a big part of her life and success comes from practicing gratitude.
“Being deliberately grateful in my life, literally saved my life,” says Fredrickson in an interview with Astrology.com. “I was on the brink of suicide myself after losing both of my parents to a dual suicide, losing all of my money in the stock market, being in an abusive relationship, and having my home in foreclosure. I choose to look at all of the things that I DID have in my life and be grateful for them. Gratitude has been the most powerful antidote for keeping a positive attitude/healthy disposition in life. It also allows me to be present to the current blessings in my life—which is the ultimate gift.”
After overcoming financial and personal hurdles, Fredrickson has become an international speaker, author, and founder of the Institute of True Wealth and Priceless Coaching and Consulting. One of her principles: “Get Rich Quick: The Power of Appreciation” is a principle about gratitude and its importance. One term she uses is radical gratitude.
What Is Radical Gratitude?
Fredrickson tells us that gratitude is “the ability to be grateful for things in our lives that our ego may define as challenges, bad things, or situations that have gone wrong. It is often easy for people to be grateful for the things they feel are going ‘right’ in their lives. However, ‘radical gratitude’ initiates another level of depth. When we choose to view our challenges through a positive lens: How is this serving my greater awareness?, How is this a blessing in disguise?, What is the spiritual gift in this experience? We step into greater mastery. When we become grateful for everything that is unfolding in our lives, we become sacred alchemists. An example of this alchemy in the natural world is the peacock. It derives its plume of feathers by transmuting the toxic plants that it eats into vibrant beauty. I believe we all have the same ability to transmute our challenges into vibrant beauty through the practice of gratitude.”
When we become grateful for everything in our lives, the highs, lows, and in-betweens, we release the anger and resentment that we feel towards what happened to us and start looking for the positive in life, the silver linings. So, the next time you have something challenge you at your core, ask how this is serving your higher awareness—it beats complaining about it.
How to Practice Gratitude in Your Daily Life?
It’s one thing to do know what gratitude is, but how can we practice it our busy lives? The answer, according to Fredrickson, is simple enough: writing!
“When I work with my clients, I always encourage them to do a written gratitude practice,” says Fredrickson. “The written practice of gratitude is a ceremony—which I say is simply uniting an intention with an action. The intention is to be grateful; the action is writing it down.”
She suggests that people write three things that they are grateful for at least four times a week in the morning, “because that sets the energetic tone for the day”. What you’re grateful for can be about almost anything: from your friend’s health to taco Tuesday. However, you shouldn’t repeat the same things that you are grateful for each day. You might be grateful for your puppy every day, but repeating it every day starts to feel generic and repetitive. Plus, there’s so much in life to be grateful for!
“The purpose of this practice is to FEEL appreciation. It takes approximately seventeen seconds to activate a vibration so you will want to linger on each aspect for at least that long,” says Fredrickson. “You will know you are doing the exercise correctly because it will feel good to do so. If we are not grateful for our lives, we are judging our life—which doesn’t feel good. I also encourage people to integrate the subjects in their life that they feel most ‘challenged’ by. The reason we feel challenged is because we are viewing that experience through the lens of scarcity and what isn’t working. When we shift our focus to gratitude, we can initiate greater flow and fulfillment in this area of our lives.”
So, not only during this season of gratitude and thankfulness—but always—it’s important to look at the positive side of life instead of the negatives. To celebrate the good that we have rather than fixating on what we want but we don’t have.
So, what is Laura thankful for? “I am grateful for the collective awakening and this era of empowerment. I am grateful for all of the readers of this article and for those that will choose to be more grateful for their lives. Imagine a world where everyone was grateful. We would all be co-creating Heaven on Earth. Or perhaps I should say, Heaven on Earth already exists. By choosing to see life through the lens of gratitude we bear witness to the beauty that has been here all along, becoming the change we wish to see in the world.”