Every night I pray. I give myself 5 minutes of time to acknowledge what I am grateful for, release my worries, and look for guidance. This is my 5 minutes to explore my feelings of gratitude, slipping into my sleep purified and renewed. There are so many ways to show gratitude, to focus what may be plaguing your spirit or emotions, and to restore your mindset. Taking time to mindfully recognize these thoughts and emotions, by bringing focus to gratitude, improves both your spiritual and mental health, leading to overall increased wellness. Like I mentioned, I do this through prayer, but you may do this through meditation, journaling, or through daily mindful reflections.
When the focus is placed on your moments then you are more likely to get more out of your 5 minutes, rather than jumping from thought to thought. I never really thought of this until I started to realize my prayer time was spent with unfinished thoughts. “I am grateful for…. But oh, wait I’m grateful for this too… but this is bothering me…. And I really need help with this….” You may notice this in your journaling or reflection times, a lack of focus can take away from what we really need. Lack of focus can tend to muddle our brains rather than giving us that cleansing experience each day. So, I have begun to focus my gratitude by asking the following questions.
Ok, first, side note. If you do not currently take just 5 minutes to do your thing (pray, journal, meditate) you are really missing out. Not only does focusing on your spiritual, emotional health improve wellness. It makes you more aware of what you need in life.
Anyways I started to ask myself the big questions of WHY?! Why am I deeply grateful for my husband and family? Why am I bothered/upset about something? This refocuses my mind, during my time. “I am grateful for my husband and family because they are support, love, and a source of happiness in my life.” When emotions and reasoning is attached feelings of gratitude it allows to be even more grateful for what I have.
Another question I attach is what on some of the emotions I cannot pinpoint. What am I looking for when asking for guidance? “I am asking for guidance,” is a REALLY broad statement. Think more along the lines of “I am asking/looking for guidance on how to tell my family about my illness,” or “I am asking for guidance on how to handle a difficult financial situation.” When specifics are included, the time you spend praying/reflecting opens you up to receiving greater insight. This may lead to bigger internal dialogue and revelations, but isn’t that the point of the time of reflection?
Again, whether you pray or meditate or journal or reflect the important thing to know is that you have already taken a huge step in improving your wellness. Bringing focus to your gratitude is taking time to improve you, from the inside out. You can find more information on Spiritual Health in our Create Wellness booklet Create Wellness.