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Creating an attitude of gratitude is such an energizing way to live your life, and I believe we all need to cultivate greater awareness for all the gifts in our life.
One of my favourite quotes is by Thornton Wilder who says this:
(Photo compliments of public-domain-image.com)
The universal laws of attraction all point to this very concept. Be grateful first, for all that life has to offer. Then, and only then, will the universe bring you more; more health, more wealth, more love, and more joy.
Develop an attitude of gratitude and watch as you begin to manifest a life of abundance
Researchers are now even beginning to measure and study gratitude as a key component to health, well-being, prosperity and longevity.
There is even a Gratitude Questionnaire that was published by McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., and Tsang, J. in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2002 that has been used extensively in research.
To take this gratitude questionnaire yourself, simply click the afore highlighted link that will take you to Dr. Emmon's website at the University of California.
Download a copy of this questionnaire and then score yourself so that you have a baseline from where you are starting. Then begin to implement the following attitude of gratitude tips below.
Continue working on your attitude of gratitude for a few months and then come back to the questionnaire and see how much you have improved – see how much happier you are by simply applying the laws of gratitude.
I start with this one because it is my favourite.
I absolutely love the power of rocks. They are so strong and carry such a grounding energy.
You can be creative with this...find a polished rock on the sea shore, a rough around the edges rock in your garden or on a nature walk, or go to a store to purchase a special crystal rock. You may even want to get out your kids painting kits and decorate your rock!
Now depending on its size, you may want to give it a place of honor in your home, in your garden, or on your desk at work. Just make sure it is visible every day.
I have done all of these, but one of my favourite things to do is put a small rock in my pocket (or for women, stick it in your bra if you don't have pockets).
Every time you see that rock (or feel it in your pocket) it will be a visual (or tactile) signal to shift you into your attitude of gratitude. It is very simple, yet profoundly effective.
Begin to be conscious of when you can insert the words "Thank You" in your daily life.
You don't necessarily have to say it to anyone in particular, but if you are driving in your car and you arrived safely at your destination, say "Thank You" before exiting your vehicle. How about thanking the stock person or cashier in the grocery store.
Or how about make it a routine to say "Thank You" before each meal, or "Thank You" each time you see someone smile or laugh, after all, a smile is very contagious and desperately good at extinguishing our sour moods.
And for heavens sake, when you say Thank You, MEAN IT! It is all too easy to get into a habit of saying thank you without even knowing what you are saying.
Oh, and you can say thank you to things that may be judged as bad or negative too. Because it is easy to say thank you when all is going well, but not as easy when we are in the midst of a crisis. Saying thank you for all gifts, even the ones that may cause us temporary pain and suffering is important because it is often that temporary pain that will show us a new lesson in life. This is how we grow, heal and evolve.
I started a gratitude journal many years ago when I was going through a rough time in life. What I found was that it was really challenging to think of things to be grateful for.
At first my journal entries were very short as I was dwelling so much on the negative that I could not see all the gifts around me.
After making a commitment to record at least 3 things to be grateful for each day I found that within weeks I could find 5, 6 and 10 things a day to be grateful for...eventually I had to give up the journal because my lists were just too huge!
In one of Dr. Emmons research studies, he found that people who kept a gratitude journal for just 3 weeks measured 25 percent higher on life satisfaction after wards. In effect, they exercised more, drank alcohol less, and their families and friends found them simply nicer to be around. And what is even more, the effects lasted for several months beyond the initial 3 weeks of journaling.
If you would like more assistance on keeping a journal , then click the link, otherwise give it a go!
Try it on for size for a few months and watch your dark and negative mind come to light in the glow of all the gifts around you!
As Eric Hoffer once said "The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."
It doesn't matter where you walk, but be fully present in each step, with each swing of your arm and with each breath.
Feel the gratitude for your body, for the air you breathe, for Mother Earth beneath your feet, for all that you see and observe around you, for the clothes on your back...the list is endless.
Simply walk in gratitude and observe. Soon, you will notice that you will move into gratitude more easily wherever you are - whether you are walking from your car to the grocery store or from your stove to your kitchen table, it can all be one big gratitude walk if you allow it!
Sit in a comfortable posture, with a straight spine and neck.
Cup your hands together as if you are gathering water from a stream and in this position, place them approximately 6 inches in front of your heart centre. Relax your arms at your side and feel every other part of your body relaxing and releasing.
And in this posture, simply sit with your eyes closed and visualize all the blessings of your life falling into your cupped hands. Breathe deeply and feel yourself merging with the light of all of those blessings.
Continue for 3, 11 or 31 minutes (or however long it feels comfortable to do so).
I hope this all helps to make gratitude part of your day.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is a workout for our soul, and it allows us to see the silver lining and joy all the varying dimensions of our life.
However you decide to do it, start flexing that attitude of gratitude muscle today!
Yours in Wellness,
If you are interested in other similar topics, check out the following pages:
Acceptance is the Answer: Understand the value of acceptance and use the meditation on this page to help you cope and deal with that which frustrates and overwhelms you in life.
Be Do Have: Sometimes we struggle in life to achieve or attain a want or desire. We thing we have to do something to get it, and once we get it we will then be happy, important or worthy. Most of us have it backwards. We don't really have to do anything or achieve anything to BE happy, it is about BE-ing happy first. And then all the 'stuff' we want will naturally come to us.
Let Go and Let God: This is the act of surrender. It is knowing fully that all is exactly as it should be, and in that space of trust and surrender to the powers that be, we find the grace of being able to move forward.
My Life My Choice: It is here that we discuss the difference between fate and destiny. Although we need to surrender to a higher, divine plan, at any point along the way, we reserve the right to choose our own path and our own destiny.
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