Meditations for Gratitude
Too often, we lose ourselves in thoughts and worries and forget to be grateful for what we have, for our possessions and the people around us. Too often, we neglect the present moment in favor of what is to come or what has already been.
With these short, guided meditations, you will begin to feel more grounded and more grateful for what is in your life right now. They will help you grow and appreciate what you’ve been given.
All the scripts in this article are for fairly short practices (no more than 5-10 minutes), so that you can do them on the go, and pretty much anywhere (unless otherwise suggested).
1. Gratitude for the People in Your Life
Sit down on the ground or on a chair. Keep your back straight and let your chin come slightly inward, as if in a prayer. Open yourself to your own heart space and close your eyes. Begin to observe what and more importantly, who occupies this space. Where does your mind go when you think about the important people in your life?
I want you to visualize them one by one. See their faces before you and allow yourself to be reminded of how much they mean to you. Allow any frustrations or conflicts you might’ve had float away, and repeat out loud the following:
“I am loved.”
With each person that filters through your mind, briefly remember one or two happy memories with them and feel your heart fill with gratitude for having shared those memories. As you go through the people, repeat to yourself the mantra:
“I am loved.”
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2. Gratitude for the Things You Have
Begin by giving yourself a short, reassuring smile. Then slowly allow all the things that you presently do not have and that are causing your angst to fade from your mind. They are not important now. Any material object you’ve been desiring, let it go, for this feeling does not serve you. By focusing on what you want to have in the future, you are negating yourself in the present moment. So let your desires fade and focus on what you have.
Bring your awareness to your person right now and start from the bottom. Slowly tracing a line over your own body, assert your gratitude:
“I am grateful for my shoes.”
“I am grateful for my pants.”
“I am grateful for my underwear.”
“I am grateful for my shirt.”
“I am grateful for the make-up I put on this morning.”
“I am grateful for the water and soap I used to wash myself.”
Carry on like this until you can no longer think of anything to be grateful for. Then open your eyes and look out at the world that has given you all these things.
3. Gratitude for Your Health
Sit or stand in a comfortable position of your choice. Keep your back straight and your head high. Focus on any ailments you might have. Does your head hurt just now? Are your feet tired? Do you perhaps have a wound or lesion that is causing you suffering? Quietly acknowledge it and then continue through your checklist.
Is your ailment minor or major? Is it easily curable or will it take some time? Begin then to think of the ailments you might have had. Try to picture your life with a major ailment or illness. Try to imagine how different your life would be if you were not able to get out of bed in the morning.
Lastly, acknowledge that a life without pain is not life. Then quietly assert your gratitude for your headache or your wound because they remind you that you, in this moment, are alive.
4. Gratitude for My Body
Standing straight and with your eyes open, I would like you to visualize all the things you think you lack. I know you’ve been told to ignore or hide them, but I don’t want you to do that. I want you to actually bring them in the spotlight and list them one by one.
Smaller feet. Bigger breasts. Narrower hips. A delicate nose. More hair.
Whatever you’ve wished you could change about your body, I want you to lay it out right now and then bring your attention to that area of your body you wish you could change. I want you to touch that area, caress it, hold it. Notice how the skin of it feels against your palm. Notice its warmth and become aware of the blood flowing through your body.
Become aware of the marvel that your life is. Of the gift that you have been given. I want you to briefly remember all the ailments you might have had, but don’t. Try to think of the biggest, scariest situation you can conjure up. And then bring yourself back to the area of the body you wish you could change. How do you feel? Does this desire seem more or less important in perspective? And how do you feel about that area of your body now?
5.Gratitude for Being Alive
Sit or stand in a position that is comfortable to you. Allow your gaze to soften and look out further and further until you can feel your eyes completely relaxed. When you feel you’re there, close your eyes and bring awareness to your breath.
Take a big breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Become aware of the air filling your lungs, the blood getting a little richer with that air. Follow the blood as it flows up to your brain. Imagine that every inch of your body is lighted by that breath of air, flowing through the blood, through the body.
Travel with it from the brain, down to the toes. And feel each area of the body loosen and relax as you breathe. Whisper to yourself the mantra:
I am grateful.
6. Gratitude for Alleviating Stress
I want you to close your eyes and feel your spirit gently float upwards, looser and looser until the only thing grounding you to your body is a thin thread. Allow the thread to hold you, gently, but do not try to come back down. Instead, while you’re up here, hovering just above your body, bring your awareness to what you see. Observe your body as it is and think about this person beneath you. About what drives them. What scares them. What angers them. Think of how often this person has felt these things in the past week and why.
I want you to pluck each stressor and each petty annoyance from this body and roll them up in your hands into a ball. No matter how big or how small the thing is, I want you to take it and roll it until the body below is completely free of stress.
Now, I want you to take in a deep breath through the nose and feel it fill you. As you breathe out, I want you to throw the ball away, as far as you can and watch it disappear. Now, I want you to count to ten and slowly bring yourself back into the body.
7. Gratitude for Life’s Gifts
I want you to bring yourself to a place of stillness. Maybe you sit down or maybe you stand. Maybe you keep your eyes open or allow them to close in the knowledge that you are safe and grounded.
Once you reach this place of stillness, I want you to bring awareness to your breath and feel as your chest expands and then deflates with each breath. I want you to take ten slow breaths to truly feel how magnificent the moment is.
In…Out. In….Out. In….Out. [pause for seven breaths]
Now I want you to count to three, and for each number, to name a gift.
One. The Gift of Life. You are alive today, you have been brought into this world. You feel and taste and see each day on this earth.
Two. The Gift of Hearing, for you are listening to this meditation with your ears and that is an indescribably beautiful gift.
Three. The Gift of Your Heart. I want you to bring attention to your heart. Put a hand on your chest and feel your heartbeat, a gift in itself. I want you to be grateful for all the love you’ve given and all the love you’ve received.
With your hand still on your heart, I want you to open your eyes and see this marvelous gift in all its glory.
8. Gratitude Mantras to Carry Through Your Day
This section is not a script as such, but rather a short collection of gratitude mantras that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day to remind yourself to be present and kind:
“I give thanks for my family.”
“I give thanks for my health.”
“I give thanks for my sight and hearing.”
“I give thanks for the clothes on my back.”
“I give thanks for the food on my plate.”
“I give thanks for this day.”
9. Gratitude for Positive Vibes
Find a position that is comfortable to you, whether seated or standing, that is up to you. Close your eyes, safe in the knowledge that nothing can hurt you. You are here now. Allow any duties or tasks that you still have for today to melt away. Allow any tension or anger to follow and dissipate from your heart.
Bring one hand to the belly and the other to the heart and feel both your chest and your stomach rise and fall with each breath. Breathe in, and let it out. Breathe in, let it out.
Begin to visualize a bright sun in your epicentre and see it expand a little more with each breath. Feel it grow a little warmer with each breath you take, until the warmth of your sun fills your heart, your lungs and begins to flow into the rest of your body. Down the belly and into your arms and legs. Lastly, feel the warmth of the sun fill your head.
With each particle of light, feel any trace of anger, sadness or disappointment leave your body and be replaced by the incredible warmth of the sun. Become aware that you are alive and that you are happy right this moment, with no bad thoughts to cloud or sadden you.
Like the immense sun at your core, you are bright and you are warm. Feel your eyes open and shine from within with that inner sun.
10. Gratitude for Little Things
I want you to take a moment to think of all the little things that make up your life. I would like you to sit comfortably or maybe even lie down. I want you to take your mind off your physical body completely and focus on this list, this mental list.
You can keep your eyes open, or close them if it helps you see the list better. On your list, begin to write down the things you are grateful for, no matter how small and how insignificant they might seem to you right now. Write down three things that made you smile today. One. Two. Three.
Now I want you to write down three more things that made you smile this week. One. Two. Three.
And now think of three memories that make you smile every time you think about them. One. Two. Three.
Now I want you to open your eyes and feel the smile on your face. And now you have one more thing that made you smile to be grateful for tomorrow.
Obviously, these scripts can be tweaked in any way that you think necessary to make them more appropriate to you or your class. Try to do a short meditation practice as often as possible to reap all its excellent benefits!
A Short & Simple Gratitude Meditation to Fill Your Day With Positive Energy