Accessing the power of gratitude with hypnosis
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a fluffy word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
I often encourage my own hypnotherapy clients to fill out a gratitude journal as a way of helping them focus on all the positive things that have happened that day. They find it a bit difficult at first but after a few days usually report that they feel happier and more hopeful about the future. All this from just writing down 3 positive things before going to bed.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. Even Strictly Come Dancing! What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
A great way to really experience the feeling of gratitude is to do so through hypnosis:
Hypnosis for happiness and gratitude exercise:
- Find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit or lie down, take a few, slow deep breaths and close your eyes.
- Starting at the top of your head, imagine a wave of relaxation (you can imagine this as a colour if you want) moving into each part of the face. Imagine this feeling of relaxation filling up the cheeks, jaw, chin, mouth etc, allowing each part to go loose, limp and lazy (I’ll even use these words sometimes in a real session!)
- Continue moving down the body until even your toes are completely relaxed.
- Now start counting down from 10. As you count yourself down, say to yourself the word ‘Relax’ or ‘calm’ in between each number.
- When you reach 1 imagine that you can now see in front of you an ornate door with the word ‘GRATITUDE’ painted in large gold letters on it.
- You can now enter the room and discover that everything inside it contains only happy, positive and joyful things- all the things in the past, present and future which you can feel grateful for.
- Imagine yourself being filled up with all those good feelings. As you fill up with all the positive feelings you imagine your whole body glowing brightly with a wonderful, calming energy.
- When you are ready to leave, go back through the door, telling yourself that you can come back anytime you wish.
- Count yourself out of self-hypnosis by counting from 1-5.
Plenty to be grateful for if you really think about it right? 🙂