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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

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Melli O'Brien



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The Grace Experiment

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, we'll be exploring the value

of trying the grace experiment.

So the practice of saying grace before

a meal is a really old tradition that's

faded a little in recent generations.

But it was really common in days

gone by to pause and express

gratitude before each meal.

Now you might be hearing me talk

about the practice of saying grace

right now and already you're thinking

to yourself, Melli, I am so not

interested in something like that.

You know, maybe you associate

this practice to religion and

you're thinking, I just don't

want anything to do with that.

But just bear with me here.

So at its core, this grace practice is

simply a regular way to express gratitude.

And here's why it might be of interest

to you to try the grace experiment.

In recent years, researchers have

found that our ability to express and

experience gratitude is a key determinant

in our overall happiness and wellbeing.

According to Robert Emmons, a psychology

professor at the University of California,

the practice of gratitude can increase

happiness levels by around 25%.

In addition, he notes that people who

express gratitude regularly have been

shown to be less resentful, enjoy

better sleep, exercise more often,

and even have lower blood pressure.

Several studies suggest that those who

take time to be grateful on a regular

basis enjoy reduced stress levels,

stronger in the personal relationships.

And according to Northeastern

University psychologist, David DeSteno,

gratitude makes people more selfless.

But these great benefits

come with a catch.

We only reap the benefits, says

psychology professor, Sonja Lyubomirsky,

if we express it on a regular basis.

So the grace experiment is this,

if you'd like to see firsthand how

a regular gratitude practice might

improve your quality of life, I

encourage you for the next 30 days to

try saying grace, at least once a day.

So taking a couple of minutes per

day, just to pause and contemplate

what you're grateful for in life.

And pairing it with another activity

like a meal time is ideal so that

you get into a regular routine.

But it doesn't have to be with a meal.

You could do it before or after

meditation, with your first cup of

tea, before you go to sleep at night.

So I invite you to just try this.

And each time you say grace really

let the energy of gratitude fill your

body and mind and being attentive to

how this regular practice of saying

grace affects you in your life.

And you might also find, as Robert

Holden once said that, "The real gift

of gratitude is that the more grateful

you are, the more present you become."

So we will start your grace experiment

as part of today's meditation.

So I invite you to settle in for that now.

And as a always, thank

you for your practice.

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