Improve your life with Gratitude Breathing

heart breath

Of all the things you can do to shift your perception in life, gratitude is one of the most powerful. Developing your sense of gratitude has been shown to have a wide range of benefits, both mental (like a greater sense of well-being, and more emotional resilience) and physical (like a stronger immune system).

This morning I added a post to my Job Search Stress Busters blog (a blog I created as a public service because it’s sorely needed) about something I have explored over the last few months I call Gratitude Breathing. It has had such a positive impact on me, I feel compelled to share it here as well.

As I have often mentioned, getting Wild About Work isn’t just about finding work you love. It’s also about expanding your capacity to experience the positive. Gratitude Breathing is an excellent practice to develop that capacity.

Here’s the post in its entirety:

A while back I wrote a post about Attitude Breathing, a technique that builds on “heart breathing,” as described in HeartMath’s Quick Coherence Technique.

In Attitude breathing, you imagine you’re breathing in and out of your heart. As you do, you focus on a positive feeling or attitude.

A few months ago, riffing off of the Attitude Breathing idea, I started playing with what I describe as Gratitude Breathing. Built around heart breathing, it incorporates an interactive focus on what you’re thankful for.

Interactive?

Here’s what I mean. Instead of just feeling grateful, I also incorporate an active receptiveness to the gift of what I’m grateful for.

So let’s say I’m grateful for this cup of coffee I’m drinking. (which I am!). Here’s how I would approach Gratitude Breathing.

  1. I start focusing on my heart as I breathe. I imagine the breath is coming into and out of my heart.
  2. I focus on the object of my gratitude (in this case, my coffee).
  3. As I breathe in, I think, “Breathing in the gift.” This is a way to open myself to actively, intentionally open myself to taking in the experience of what I’m grateful for being a gift in my life.
  4. As I breathe out, I think, “Breathing out my gratitude.” I imagine myself surrounding the object of my appreciation in a cloud/bubble/field of gratitude.
  5. Breathing in, it starts all over.

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I find this has the effect of both grounding me and deepening my feeling of gratitude.

The objects of your gratitude can be small (like my coffee) or big (like a deeply loving family). The beauty of this is that it really doesn’t matter. The more you actively engage in gratitude, the more it filters into your overall outlook on life (which has a big picture stress reduction effect as well).

Give it a try. Experiment with it for a week. See how it feels.

Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

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