Cari Rauch

The Essential Element of Gratitude & Appreciation

The Gratitude List (or as I prefer to call it the Appreciation List) is something that everyone or I guess most people have probably heard about since every guru and self help book talks about it.  They all state we should be listing what we are grateful for everyday,  some say just list 5 – some go as far as to list 100 things.  This list is the holy grail to making changes in your life.  

But have you ever tried to do one for an extended period of time but found you never really stuck with it?  I have many times since every book I read kept repeatedly stating that it was important to create a list every day.  So I did, I used to write down 5 things every night before I got into bed usually quickly especially if I was really tired.   It never would really stick and I didn’t understand why because it was supposedly this huge thing that helps you make changes in your life.

I eventually discovered why it never really stuck.  It was because they never really explained the key element or purpose of making the list in the first place.   The key element of doing an appreciation list is actually feeling appreciation and/or gratitude.  This may sound weird but it’s not a doing thing – it’s a feeling thing.  

An AppreciationThe actual list isn’t even necessary – what is necessary is experiencing the emotions.  The whole point of doing the list is so that we can feel the sensations of appreciation and gratitude in our bodies.   Everything we are ever wanting in our lives always boils down to an emotion (even changes we want to make) – so it’s important to learn how to feel and experience these emotions and using a list can help but it’s not necessary.  

Here’s how to Conjure up Appreciation and Gratitude:  

  1. Find one thing to focus on (your career, your family, your house, your health, your finances, the earth, etc.).  
  2. Next focus on why you appreciate or are grateful that this is in/a part of your life, how has it improved/changed your life/made your life better.  
  3. Notice the sensations in your body what does it feel like and focus on increasing these senses  (play around with this and see what works for you some examples are by talking more about what you are appreciating and why or using your body by smiling and dancing around while you’re focusing what you are appreciating or imagine sending the person or item loving energy.)

Whether you make a list or just focus on one thing it truly doesn’t matter – just make sure you are actually feeling and experiencing the emotions.  Because in the end that is all we are really wanting anyways is the feeling.  

If you enjoyed this post, please Share It!, Pin It!, or Tweet It!