A gratitude meditation encourages you to home in on expressing gratitude. Gratitude meditation does not belong to one specific religion or spiritual movement and can be practiced by anyone.
In this article, we’ll take a look at:
- What is a gratitude practice?
- What is meditation?
- How to practice a gratitude meditation
- A gratitude meditation script for morning
- A gratitude meditation script for evening
What is a gratitude practice?
It sounds pretty simple, right? A gratitude practice, whether incorporated within meditation or not, can be practiced pretty much anywhere at any time. It is the act of acknowledging gratitude for someone or something.
A bit like meta meditation or loving-kindness meditation, the practice is not just about acknowledging the good and the positive but is also about accepting and being thankful for everything in your life.
The process of reflection can help us to see things that may originally seem negative as things that provide us with opportunities to learn. Gratitude is about acknowledging our whole experience and not just the good.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Some people find keeping a gratitude journal helpful. Gratitude journals are not a part of gratitude meditation but they can be a useful tool in finding out what you are grateful for – the positive and the not so positive.
There will always be more to do and achieve, to improve and gain but part of a gratitude mediation is being fully grateful for what you have right now.
What is meditation?
A meditation is a way to focus and concentrate the mind.
It is often confused with “not thinking,” but the nature of the mind is to think so meditation helps us to focus this so that we can gain some control over the mind. It might be worth checking out some basic principles of meditation before starting out with your gratitude meditation.
Meditation is a practice. Try and find time even if for a few minutes to bring your awareness back to you.
Why do a gratitude meditation?
Studies have shown that there are many benefits associated with gratitude meditations including:
- Improved overall well-being
- Improvements in the symptoms of depression
- Improved sleep
- Increased levels of gratitude overall
How long is a gratitude meditation?
Gratitude meditations can vary in length. You might decide to spend a few moments reflecting on your day as a meditation practice or you might take a more formal practice that could last up to half an hour.
How to set up for a gratitude meditation
Generally, meditations are practiced in a seated position. For this option, make sure that you feel comfortable and grounded.
You can sit in a cross-legged position on the floor with a block or blanket under your seat or you can sit in a chair. If you decide to sit in a chair, make sure that your spine is upright and unsupported.Some meditations can also be practiced lying down, especially those practiced before bed. Be sure to prioritize comfort if you’re planning to go straight to sleep after your meditation so as not to disturb yourself.
You’ll want to make sure that your environment is free of distractions, so be sure to turn off your electronics if you can.
Morning Gratitude meditation script
This meditation is designed for the beginning of the day and can be done sitting up in bed as soon as you wake or in a comfortable seated position.
Ensure that you are comfortable and that your spine is upright. Feel free to close the eyes or soften the lids a little. Just allow yourself to settle for a moment… Become aware of your body… Become aware of the ground underneath you, supporting you…
Can you make an intention to start the day with gratitude…
Let your body relax… Let unwanted tension fall away…
Take a few slow deep breaths… No force, no strain… Let your breath fall into an easy natural rhythm… Normal, everyday breathing. No force, no strain…
Allow each inhalation to energize you… Allow each inhalation to bring you more and more into the present moment… Can feel a sense of gratitude for this breath, for the simplicity of the inhale and the exhale…
Now bring your attention to the mind… Allow thoughts to come and go but direct your attention toward the feeling of gratitude… What are you truly grateful for this morning? Can you be grateful for your surroundings, your environment…
Can you be grateful for the people in your life? Think of one person that you feel truly grateful to have in your life… What is it that you are grateful for about them even if you don’t know them that well… What does it feel like to be grateful for them…
Can you feel your sense of gratitude growing within your body… Can you feel a sense of gratitude for yourself… What would it feel like to be grateful for your body… How would it feel to be grateful for your personality and mind… What qualities about yourself are you most grateful for…
What does gratitude for yourself feel like? How does it make you feel…
Can you make an intention to check back in throughout the day and acknowledge gratitude for yourself? A moment here or there. To remind yourself of the feeling of gratitude… Can you make an intention to practice gratitude as part of your day…
Now begin to deepen your breath a little… Wiggle your fingers and toes… Stretch your arms up and overhead and take a stretch and a reach…
Begin to open your eyes if they are closed and welcome yourself into your day feeling gratitude for the day ahead.
Gratitude meditation script for the end of the day
This meditation is designed for the end of the day to help you to close your day in a positive way. It is recommended that you are lying down or in bed for this meditation but it can also be practiced seated.
Ensure that you are comfortable and that your body is supported. Feel free to close the eyes or soften the lids a little. Just allow yourself to settle for a moment… Become aware of your body… Become aware of the ground underneath you, supporting you…
Where are you holding tension within your body… Could you settle all tension on each exhalation… Feel a sense of relaxation waving through the body as you exhale.
Let’s do this systematically, feel relaxation in the feet and ankles… The legs and hips… The torso and spine… Feel relaxation envelope the torso and spine… Down the shoulders and arms… Up through the neck and into the face and head… The whole head deeply relaxed… The whole body deeply relaxed…
Bring your attention to your breath and allow your breath to settle… Allow your breath to settle into an easy and intuitive rhythm. Experience the gentle rise and fall of your chest… Let your body be breathed…
Tune in to the steady rhythm of your breath… The constant of the breath that tethers us to present movement awareness…
Begin to observe the mind… Simply watch thoughts without following them for a moment.
Reflect on an event that happened throughout the day… No positive or negative judgment needs to be attached to the event…
Can you feel a sense of gratitude for something that happened in your day today? Maybe the food that you ate or your walk to work. The roof above your head? What can you be thankful for from today?
Is there a lesson you learned today? Is there a time you laughed? Did you spend time with others? What are the things you can be grateful for today?
What does gratitude feel like within your body? What is the felt sense of gratitude? Can you remember it, taste it?
Allow the feeling of gratitude to wash over your body.
Can you make an intention to practice gratitude upon waking in the morning? To continue the practice of gratitude…
Now feel free to fall right to sleep or take your time to come back into your day.
Gratitude meditation roundup
- Taking a few moments out of your day to practice gratitude is the simplest way to do a gratitude meditation.
- You can practice a gratitude meditation at any time of the day and anywhere.
- Gratitude comes with benefits such as improved sleep and mood.
- A gratitude practice isn’t just for meditation, journaling works too.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”― Eckhart Tolle
Why not check out these books on cultivating a gratitude practice
- Words of Gratitude for Mind, Body, and Soul – Robert Emmons and Joanna Hill
- Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier – Robert Emmons
- The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life – Janice Kaplan
- Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
If you enjoyed this gratitude meditation script then why not check out this Loving Kindness Meditation Script For Cultivating Compassion For Yourself & All Beings