What is a Gratitude Walk and How to Do One
I shared last week that I am trying out gratitude or gratefulness walks, and I thought it maybe useful to share here exactly why.
Gratitude walks are an activity said to be thought up by Tony Robbins to promote a positive mindset and also help manifest goals you are reaching for. If you have heard of the law of attraction, you may know that it claims you can attract positive or negative experiences simply with your thoughts. Now I don't know if I completely believe that, but I do believe in the science of positive psychology that says more positive emotions lead to more happiness, health and success in life. And not only that, but you can train your mind to focus on the positive and have an overall better perception of life. And if you are happier and more content with life I feel like you would also be more up to the challenge of chasing after those goals and dreams you set, ready to take action toward them. All of that said, gratitude walks appear to be another simple way of going about that mind training ( as is meditation).
How to do it
It is pretty simple. Go outside and take a walk. Walk slowly, at a comfortable pace, it isn't about the destination for this, it truly is simply about the walking. I have to admit, the first time I did this I was uncomfortable, even before the gratitude bit kicked in. For me it isn't very often I start walking with no destination in mind! But the walk is important because walking is known to promote problem solving, relax you, and get you into a new environment (and new frame of mind).
The next step is to start talking to yourself. I know, very weird and incredibly uncomfortable. You are going to start listing off things you are grateful for, and it doesn't have to be anything poetic or profound. Start simple and keep the list going. I usually start with gratitude for the time to do this walk. Gratitude for my health, for my family, for my home, for the weather, for things I can see and appreciate, I just let the gratitude roll over me. And you keep reciting these things out loud you will start to feel that warm, soft feeling inside. Gratitude.
As you get into a rhythm with you list you want to start adding on things that you want that you are grateful for. "I am grateful for my successful business." I am grateful for my beautiful children." I am grateful for my home on the beach." What ever it may be, feel the gratefulness for the things you have not yet manifested. And use this as an opportunity to visualize all of the things you desire. Get specific. And enjoy the feeling of gratitude for what you will one day have. I find this the most interesting because it shows me that achieving my goals (while important) doe not bestow the great feelings I expect to get when I have it, but it is actually the gratitude that I feel for it which can be felt now. It is funny that something only becomes truly valuable once you are grateful for it.
"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
-Gilbert K. Chesterton
Gratitude is such a profound feeling. Not only does it feel good in the moment, but it can propel you to want to do things. Maybe repay your debt of gratitude, take action towards more things to be grateful for, or just live healthier and happier day to day.
Do you think you'll be up to trying a gratitude walk? You can do them with a friend, or like me alone pretending you're on the phone! haha! Let me know, or have you done something similar before? I'd love to know.