Have You Tried This 3-Finger Gratitude Exercise?Luke Coutinho
“Gratitude is a lifeline that can bring you to the surface again when you are going through the most challenging, saddest, and darkest days of life.” – Luke Coutinho
Is gratitude powerful? How can it rewire our brains and emotions? How can it transform our lives? Two psychologists from the University of California and Miami decided to decode this.
As part of their research, they came up with a simple experiment. They gathered three groups. They asked the first group to document things they were grateful for that had occurred during a week. The second was to write about everyday stressors and things that irritated them. The third group was to document events that impacted them with no instruction about these experiences being positive or negative.
10 weeks later, when they assessed the results, the study concluded that the group that practiced gratitude was more optimistic and happier. Not only this, but they also paid better attention to their physical fitness and fewer visits to their healthcare providers versus the other two groups. Here are some findings from another study that shares how gratitude can help with mood disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder.
In my line of work, I believe that gratitude completes your loop of healing. Yes, medicine, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional health are all necessary. But gratitude is a powerful and inexpensive drug beyond it that can change your life, relationships, and health. Today I want to teach you a simple exercise to cultivate it.
I call it the 3-finger gratitude exercise.
You can practice this at regular intervals in a day for the best results.
How does it work?
- Every three hours, pause whatever you are doing and bring 3 fingers closer to your chest.
- Slowly and mindfully reflect on three or more things, people, or events that have taken place in the last three hours. Reflect on it deeply. Offer gratitude with deep belief.
- It doesn’t have to be anything huge. Just small blessings – a cup of tea or coffee someone made you, a hug from your child, a kind word from a colleague, and so on.
How is this different from gratitude journaling?
When you do a gratitude journal at night, you reflect and write down everything that happened during the day. You reflect on your personal, family, or work life and document what you are grateful for. The three-finger exercise is different because you are doing it every three hours and about events that have unfolded in that exact span.
When you pause every three hours, you give yourself a breather. When you reflect on what happened at that time, you deepen your practice of mindfulness and reflection. You train your mind to go over what is going well for you. As you remember people in those three hours, you offer genuine gratitude from the heart for them. It makes you feel good on a spiritual and cellular level. If you cannot do this every three hours, do it at four, five, or six-hour intervals. If you think you have more to be grateful for, turn it into a five or six-finger exercise.
Build it like a regime or routine. The more you do this, the more you program your subconscious mind. Anything done with repetition rewires it. After a while, you may not even need to look at your watch for reminders because this simple exercise will become a part of you.
Anything you want to get great at in life requires practice with repetition. For instance, you will not stop brushing your teeth just because I tell you toothpaste causes you harm. With years of conditioning and practice, your brain is programmed to believe that brushing your teeth is crucial for oral hygiene. It has become a subconscious part of your routine. Follow the same principle for this.
How does it help you?
Many of us start our day with negativity – fights or arguments at home, stressful work emails, and meetings. Unfortunately, our mind is trained to pick negativity and dwell on it more easily than something that may be going well for us.
You have the power to train your mind from turning a negative spiral into a positive one. I am not here to preach toxic positivity because nobody in the world can be happy all the time. Don’t be hard on yourself when you get negative, jealous, angry, or lustful thoughts. The key is to not let yourself become a slave to those thoughts.
Ask yourself – is there scope to look at this situation differently?
For instance, if you say, “I’m so jealous of my neighbor who bought a car,” can you redirect it to think, “Oh, I am jealous, my neighbor bought a new car. But I can work hard and buy a car too.” Do you see how we just changed the entire energy of thought?
If you hear terrible news, you may feel awful about it. Say a prayer for them, but remember someone else’s story isn’t yours. Can you offer gratitude for the gift of your health? The emotions you feed become stronger in life.
Here are 6 simple ways to cultivate gratitude every day:
- Offer gratitude before your meals. Many religions encourage this. Even if you are not religious, by simply offering gratitude for the food you change the energy for it to work for you.
- Give thanks before you take that sip of water because access to clean and safe drinking water is also a blessing.
- Say thank you to someone. Call a friend or family member and express gratitude.
- Write a gratitude letter or email to someone expressing your joy and appreciation for their impact on your life. Send it to them, or even better, deliver and read it in person.
- No time to visit or write? Just do it in your mind.
- Maintain a gratitude journal that you fill at night. It is powerful and helps you move to a state of relaxation and peace. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
Have you ever tried advanced gratitude?
In this, you move from the present quantum field to the future quantum field and offer thanks in advance.
For instance, if you have an impending health scan report due after three months, offer gratitude with the best hope today. If you are awaiting growth reports for your business for the month, offer thanks for generating that X amount now.
You lose nothing by doing this. It makes you grateful for what you have right now and for what the future holds in store for you. You lose nothing by intending for the best.
How gratitude aids healing
I have seen this in my own line of work. There is a big difference in patients who practice gratitude. Even those with cancer or ailing from other health and lifestyle conditions, find ways to offer gratitude. These may include the support of their family, the ability to afford treatment, the love and care of their doctors, nutritionists, or caregivers, or even the little joys like the laughter of their children or the touch of a loved one.
It changes and shifts the entire energy in the body. Even a little gratitude comes with a lot of hope, and hope is a magic word that gives us that warrant to keep on moving on in our life.
The key here is never to stop trying. Gratitude is powerful because it is something anybody can practice, no matter who we are and where we come from. Gratitude turns little into enough and brings a feeling of contentment and satisfaction which are all forms of true happiness.
Do you need holistic emotional wellness guidance to live your best life? Book a consult with our life coaches or MPower mental health experts today. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp here. Write to us at email@example.com or call 18001020253.
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