Discovering the Path to Joy: Five Gratitude Rituals You Can Start Today

I'm Anindita!

I am a Functional Medicine certified Health Coach and AFMC Practitioner. I help women with autoimmune conditions I help women with autoimmune conditions reverse their symptoms with their body as their guide

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Have you heard about the story of Mulla Nasruddin and donkeys?

I shared this intriguing story recently on my podcast and you can listen to it here.

Its a story about a character from the Sufi tradition who baffled customs officials with his apparent wealth despite their inability to discern the source of his riches. Years later, it was revealed that he had been smuggling donkeys—often the most valuable things are right in front of us, unnoticed. This tale parallels our often elusive search for happiness in our own lives.

I share this story to highlight the importance of joy—a treasured but often overlooked vitamin in our emotional diet, ‘Vitamin J’.

Cropped view of a young woman with the wind in her hair

The essence of vitamin J

The thing is, joy is much more than a fleeting emotion. It’s an essential component of our psychological well-being. It encourages appreciation, cultivates a sense of contentment and deep gratitude. Yet, it is often completely overlooked when it comes to creating a health creation strategy.

My clients often have a puzzled look on their faces when I ask them about whether they are cultivating joy in their lives. Joy seems too over the top, bubbly and falsely cheerful for many adults. Yet, joy describes all the healthy states of mind that brings a sense of contentment, peace, happiness and calm within us.

Joy is “infectious” in the sense that it is capable of producing a ripple effect that continues to spread outward to touch our communities and the world at large.

I have written about this in an earlier post.

It is the spark of delight in simply being alive, and when we nurture joy, it becomes a sanctuary in our hearts—a place to return to amidst life’s inevitable challenges.

Joy awakens all our senses, thus energising both mind and body. It is unassuming, small and disarming. 

It is often hiding in the smile of your child, a hug from your loved one, a song that you hear or a conversation that you enjoy. 

To recognize this joy, to let it into your awareness, is to develop a grateful heart.

The symptoms of gratitude deficiency

You might be feeling a sense of failure on otherwise good health days or dwelling only on symptoms and setbacks. Or you may be constantly feeling anxious about future flare-ups, missing out on today’s calm between treatments.

The main issue isn’t the long-term illness. It’s focusing too much on the pain and restrictions, which might stop you from noticing the better days and any improvements you’ve had. Maybe you’ve tested different treatments, but you can’t feel content because you’re too focused on what’s not working.

In any case, it’s all too easy to feel helpless and overlook the good days or the progress you’ve achieved.

Because when we focus only on the  “glass half empty” and complain about all the things that are not the way we want it to be, we end up feeling helpless and disempowered.

As the saying goes-

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. 

Life is a “gift”

What if you could alter your way of looking at your life?

What if you realised that life owes you nothing?

Most importantly, what if you realised that what you have is a actually a GIFT and cannot be taken for granted? 

Research shows that when we look at life this way, the effects are quantifiable and sustainable. This is in terms of the quality of our life, our relationships, inner peace, happiness and health. We are never too old, young, rich, poor to live gratefully.

As Dr Robert A Emmons says in his book “The little book of gratitude“,

In gratitude, we recognize that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves.

When we are grateful, we recognize that we have no claim on the gift or benefit received, and it was freely bestowed out of compassion, generosity or love. To recognise this gift is the beginning of gratitude.

In other words, life is a gift —one that is not owed to us.

Current research underlines that viewing life through a lens of gratitude can significantly enhance our relationships, inner peace, happiness, and even our health.

There are many health benefits which have been shown to be linked with gratitude such as

  • Increased happiness and positive mood
  • More satisfaction in life
  • Less likely to experience burnout
  • Better sleep
  • Less fatigue
  • Greater resiliency

Thank you sticky note with multiple colored adhesive notes on bulletin board

What gets in the way of gratitude? 

For most people, its the frenetic pace of modern life.

It leaves little room to pause, reflect and ponder upon all the gifts we receive every single day. It robs us of the little moments that can open our eyes to all that we have already, right here, right now. 

At the same time, gratitude is a way of training your mind to awaken all your senses and rewire your brain for seeing more of joy in your life. 

As the Mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat Zinn had said..

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” 

According to Dr Robert Emmons, there are three steps that are necessary to find the right kind of gratitude that stokes joy over the long term.

  1. Joy – Look for the good
  2. Grace – Receive the good
  3. Love – Give back the good

You can learn more about this in his book “The little book of gratitude”

If we get into the habit of using our senses and looking for all the gifts that we have at this very moment, we can find valuable gifts even in the most challenging times.

Five rituals to cultivate gratitude

You can use the following simple rituals to guide you towards a grateful heart so that you can treasure all your blessings:

  1. Gratitude for Small Wonders: Journaling daily about the things you’re thankful for can heighten your sense of the present and appreciation for your life as it is.
  2. Body Scan with Gratitude: Before rising each morning, perform a body scan, giving thanks to each body part for its function, fostering a connection between gratitude and bodily awareness.
  3. Morning Savoring Ritual: Begin your day by fully immersing yourself in a small pleasure, like a cup of tea or coffee, to engage your senses and practice mindfulness.
  4. Early Morning Joy: Prioritize a brief activity that brings you joy before reaching for your phone. Cherish this time for its rejuvenating qualities.
  5. Thanks to Your Past Self: Write a letter expressing gratitude to your past self for decisions and actions that have benefited you today.

Embrace the power of ‘Vitamin J’

Embracing a life of gratitude simplifies joy—it starts with valuing each moment and understanding that joy thrives not on perfect circumstances but a grateful heart. The comfort of your favorite chair or the sun’s warmth on your skin are life’s simple blessings and each a daily dose of this vitamin is crucial for your emotional health.

If you’ve centered on the ‘can’t-dos’ and the pain, start now and pivot to notice and appreciate the ‘can-dos’.

Embracing a life of gratitude doesn’t have to be a complex task. It starts with recognizing the value in every moment and understanding that joy doesn’t depend on perfect health but on a grateful heart. 

Integrate these rituals into your life. Let them be your guide to the present and reveal the wealth your life possesses amidst adversities.

Remember, amidst the thorns, the roses bloom; it’s a matter of perspective to see them.

“Joyful journey- the 5 day GRATITUDE CHALLENGE”

I’m excited to extend an invitation to you for an event designed to enrich your life with positivity and appreciation.

Join us for the “Joyful Journey – The 5-Day Gratitude Challenge,” for women beginning on Monday, 15th of January 2024!

Discover the power of appreciation and how it can elevate your everyday life in just 5 days. 

Here’s what you can look forward to:

1. **Daily Gratitude Prompts** – Engage with simple, reflective tasks that encourage you to find gratitude in your everyday life.

2. **Community Support**: Connect with a group of like-minded individuals on a similar path to positivity inside our Facebook community “Embrace Your Healing Journey.”

3. **LIVE support sessions **: Tap into the collective energy of our group with live sessions daily at 1230 pm inside the Facebook community that will empower you to turn grateful thoughts into a lifelong habit.

This challenge is more than just an event; it’s the beginning of a transformation in the way you experience your world. Let’s take this step towards joy together!

Sign up now using the link provided below and prepare to embrace your journey towards joy, peace, and deeper gratitude.

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Health Coach, author, blogger, podcaster, mom of two and avid reader

Before you get any further....
Hi, I'm Anindita!

I am a Functional Medicine certified Health Coach and AFMC practitioner. I help women with autoimmune conditions reverse their symptoms with their body as their guide

I work with women who want to go beyond symptom management, reconnect with their bodies and learn how to get well and stay well by tuning into their body's wisdom 

Learn more


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This toolkit will be focusing on the different kinds of tools you can use to create a healing environment like mindfulness, self compassion, journaling, stress management by reconnecting to your body's wisdom.
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