In the previous blog, I talked about giving without expectations and how the ego-mind is depending on the outcome of our actions to feel happy. Today I would like to share how our daily practices boost the capacity to appreciate what we already have.
First things first…
The simplest things can become your greater gifts.
Why does it take so much effort to focus on the internal rather than the external?
Most of the time we run on an autopilot mode, in fact, 90% of the time we are not aware of our thoughts. We judge everything, we overthink, we keep ourselves busy with places we have to go, and we are preoccupied with time.
It’s difficult to go back to our inner reality when we are so busy on the outside, when we are obsessed with problems instead of focusing on solutions.
Here are 6 daily practices to help you focus on what really matters and boost your appreciation:
1. Appreciate life itself
Appreciation means recognizing or understanding that something or someone is valuable.
Notice the positive life events that take place to you every single moment, like your organs working properly without the need to control your digestion, the miracle of thinking, your freedom, the capacity to choose between positive and negative, the miracle of nature, for instance.
Upon waking up, reflect on everything that you have right now starting with your senses, your body functioning in perfect harmony, your intelligence, the state of consciousness, any level of peace that you may have, your relationships, your job. Before going to sleep, think about the good deeds of the day, what activities you participated in, with whom you shared information, what you have done for your family, what you did to improve your health.
2. Express gratitude
It allows the celebration for the present by being thankful for something or someone. Gratitude requires appreciation.
Positive speech and compliments are great ways to show gratitude. Think about all the relationships in your life; your teachers, your family, your partner, your friends, your colleagues. We all crave appreciation. Make the effort to appreciate what others have done for you and show them how grateful you feel about it.
Write a letter to your best friend, take your mother for a day trip, make a phone call, leave a note to your colleague or employee, send some flowers to your partner, or simply talk to that special person in a nice and unexpected way. These are great examples of how to show appreciation.
3. Live in the moment
Be in the present and see things as they really are.
You can practice mindfulness by being conscious of feelings and thoughts, creating space to be present in everything you think, say, and do. Breathing exercises, yoga practice, quiet reflection, mindful eating, writing in a meditation diary, find the time to pause!
Once you clean your mind from all misperceptions, negative emotions and attachments, you can see things and people as they really are, without judgment or expectations. And this you can accomplish by means of meditation.
4. Practice meditation
Meditation is focusing the mind at one point for a long period of time in a relaxing way.
One of the first practices we need to carry out is to cultivate calmness. To get the mind out of a dispersed and ordinary state, we choose a particular object/thought and continually focus the mind on that object/thought. With this practice, we fix the attention at one point and achieve mental stillness.
Meditation helps us block toxic emotions such as envy, pride, resentment, regret, depression, anger, as well as cultivating the feelings of peace and loving-kindness from within, therefore, we can appreciate life without all the attachments of the ego-mind.
5. Develop humbleness
Recognize that as humans, no one is above the other.
Choose to be at peace over being right, stop comparing yourself with others, compliment others, don’t brag about anything, give service to others, simply think of yourself less.
The ego-mind separates us from one another. Don’t allow your ego to make you feel separate from the world! If you want to attract happiness, you need to let go of the ego.
6. Stay consistent
If you practice repeatedly, you get consistent results.
When you have a daily practice of mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude, you feel happier, more centered, and at peace.
Being consistent means following all previous practices regularly. The reasons for doing it should be more important than the reasons for not complying with them.
Now, I invite you to reflect on this and take action by following the practices I mentioned throughout this article and even finding new ways to boost your appreciation.
This is your opportunity to start our 42 days Self-Development Program and learn how appreciation makes your life happier! You can also check out our mindfulness retreats to practice meditation with us.
“When you know that you are on the path you have chosen with love and desire, you can be happy.” -Karen Ramirez
Photo Credits: JMC